A week ago today, Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert flew to south florida, knowing he had a chance to land the biggest free agent of all time, LeBron James.
The media found about about the trip, and Gilbert’s plane was tracked more heavily than NORAD tracking Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.
In a story by Detroit Free Press writer Mitch Albom, Gilbert expressed his feelings during the flight, as well as what transpired during the meeting with James, the first face-to-face between the duo since the Cavs’ owner blasted James in that famous Comic Sans rant, four years ago.
According to Albom, the letter hung over Gilbert’s head, and the billionaire wanted to make things right.
“…As Gilbert glanced out the window, for a moment he wasn’t a billionaire Detroit businessman or an NBA owner. He was every guy seeing his ex–wife after the divorce, every ten guitarist seeing a former friend who broke up the band.”
Gilbert showed up at the meeting without any associates. He sat across the table from James, and addressed the matter.
From Gilbert, as told to Albom:
“First thing I said to him was, LeBron, you know this is true. We had five good years and one bad night. Like a marriage that’s good and then one bad thing happens and you never talk to each other again…I’m just glad we’re here, whether you come or not…This has been hanging over my head.”
James replied with the same sentiment. The two rehashed the meeting for about 15-20 minutes, according to Albom, before the conversation moved toward the future. But when all was said and done, Gilbert didn’t which way James was leaning.
The Cavs owner shook hands with James, not knowing what the four-time MVP would do with his next decision.
How do you feel about the way Gilbert addressed the letter with James?