"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. "Clearly, this is bitterly disappointing to all of us," Gilbert said in the letter. "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."
Gilbert, who has owned the Cavs for five years, said James' decision was a "cowardly betrayal" and called James the "self-titled former 'King'" and promised the No. 1 pick in the 2003 draft would be "taking the [Cleveland] 'curse' with him down south." Despite James' departure, Gilbert guaranteed future success for his franchise. "I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER 'KING' WINS ONE," Gilbert declared. "You can take it to the bank."
Buried in this letter otherwise filled with invective, Gilbert wrote, "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 is an amazing statement, temporally and theologically. Temporally, he seems to be equating living in Cleveland with death, which is interesting to find coming from a man who lives in Cleveland and who is writing almost exclusively to other Cleveland residents. James, he seems to be saying, has to suffer the death of living in Cleveland before he can achieve the heaven of an NBA championship. Obviously, on an earthly level, this is not true. No other NBA team or player has had to live and play in Cleveland as a prerequisite for winning a championship. Indeed, no Cleveland team has won a championship in any sport since 1964, when the Browns won the pre-Superbowl NFL Championship.