Cleveland, as you may have heard, lost a basketball player Thursday night. But the city has something to fill the hole in its collective hear created by LeBron James departure to the Miami Heat via free agency - a burning hatred.
And outside of the fans turning out to burn James No. 23 jersey in the streets, perhaps no other Clevelander sums up passionate dislike more that Dan Gilbert, the majority owner of James' now former hometown Cleveland Cavaliers. In fact, Gilbert wants to leave nothing to chance in letting his former star and the city that worshiped him know where he stands on the issue, going so far as to issue an open letter to the universe declaring his distaste for King James. Some highlights:
Dear Cleveland, All Of Northeast Ohio and Cleveland Cavaliers Supporters Wherever You May Be Tonight;
As you now know, our former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier.
This was announced with a several day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his "decision" unlike anything ever "witnessed" in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment.
The good news is that the ownership team and the rest of the hard-working, loyal, and driven staff over here at your hometown Cavaliers have not betrayed you nor NEVER will betray you.
There is so much more to tell you about the events of the recent past and our more than exciting future. Over the next several days and weeks, we will be communicating much of that to you.
You simply don't deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.
In the meantime, I want to make one statement to you tonight:
"I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER 'KING' WINS ONE"
You can take it to the bank.
If you thought we were motivated before tonight to bring the hardware to Cleveland, I can tell you that this shameful display of selfishness and betrayal by one of our very own has shifted our "motivation" to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels.
Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there.
Sorry, but that's simply not how it works.
This shocking act of disloyalty from our home grown "chosen one" sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And "who" we would want them to grow-up to become.
But the good news is that this heartless and callous action can only serve as the antidote to the so-called "curse" on Cleveland, Ohio.
The self-declared former "King" will be taking the "curse" with him down south. And until he does "right" by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma.
Just watch. ...
OK, so, bitter much, Dan? Admittedly, though, understandably. But now you have a big promise to deliver on. Yes, you have some money to spread. Quite a bit, actually. But the aisles are starting to get a little bare in the free agent store.
But you do have spirit. And a city filled with the desire the see your promise come true, as much for spite as team and civic pride, but that counts, too.
Good luck, Cleveland. Now you just have to back up the talk.