Dan Gilbert

What if Dan Gilbert tricked us all?

Now before you go off saying “No way this happened” remember that I’m not saying that this did happened, I’m just saying what if this happened. I do not know Mr. James or Mr. Gilbert. I don’t know anyone who does know them. I’m just someone who thinks of the seemingly impossible.

It’s the summer of 2010 and you’re Dan Gilbert, and you want to desperately bring a Championship to Cleveland. And right now, your team, despite boasting the league’s best record two years running, having the best player in the league (or second best depending on how you rate Kobe at that time.), multiple trades and you still can’t get that championship. You’re not attracting any big name free agents despite having the money to pay them. You own a small market team. You’re in a cold weather city without the attractions such as New York, Chicago or Boston. You’re a billionaire, you want money yes, but you also want a Legacy. And as it is right now, what better Legacy than to bring a Championship to the city of Cleveland? You’ll be immortalized, have a statue built and be written into the City’s history.

Lebron, since he came into the league has made the Cavaliers relevant. Since his rookie year (the only year he missed the playoffs, thanks to Vince Carter turning up his play for the Nets to make it in a last ditch effort.) Lebron has won a MVP here, lead the team to the Finals, and basically did everything asked of him without complaint. But you know he’ll always be judged on how many Rings he has. And presently, currently constructed, you know that for the foreseeable future, Lebron won’t get a ring in Cleveland.

Remember now, you’re Dan Gilbert, you wasn’t born a billionaire, so you’re a visionary. And when you’re a visionary, nothing is impossible. You haven’t had a lottery pick since Lebron James’ rookie year. Where you picked Luke Jackson… yes… exactly.  You’re seeing the youth movement around the league, you see the Oklahoma City Thunder growing from draft picks, and other teams getting better and your team, despite having the best record for two years straight, can’t get it done. And unless Lebron James gets injured, you can’t tank to get into the Lottery and have a good excuse for the fans.

So here’s your master plan. Become one of the first teams ever to fire a coach and general manager after donning the league’s best record for two years straight. Blow up everything, even sending your number one player away while you rebuild the team through the draft. You have to put the pieces in order. With the current team as is, with the way Mike Brown teaches Defense, they may make a mark in the league, may not make the playoffs, but may end up with a 10-14 lottery pick, and no one wants to pick there. Get rid of Mike Brown. After that, you have to get rid of Danny Ferry, no more use for him, you’re starting over. And then do the unspeakable.

You call Lebron into your office, you explain to him that he’s a young man, he should go party and have some fun for a few years playing in a place that’s not going to put as much pressure on him as the Cleveland fan base always will. You explain to Lebron that yes, he’s going to take a lot of heat, but you’ll do something boneheaded (Like a comic sans font open letter to Lebron and the people getting you fined a hefty sum.) And that you two will seem like you absolutely hate one another, so that no one in their right mind would think that you two could possibly be in cahoots. (Too bad my mom dropped me a few times as a kid so I’m not in my right mind.) He goes to South Beach during one of the most surprising and disrespectful Television Spectacles of my life, and breaking the heart of a city that basically made you their relic of hope for a championship.

Phase one is complete, get rid of all who stands in the way of you rebuilding this team as you want. Despite what people may think, Lebron didn’t run this team, you did, you’re the owner, you’re Dan Gilbert.

Now on to Phase two, your first lottery draft pick in years. The best thing Mo Williams ever did for us was bring us Kyrie Irving via the Clippers first round pick. Like many others, people thought that the 2011 draft was one of the weakest drafts ever, so they gave up their pick, which got us the number 1 pick, and got us Kyrie Irving, thank you Clippers. Then, we used our own draft pick on Tristian Thompson, a formidable player. But that isn’t enough, you need more talent, you need more youth. So you make more trades, and then 2012, one of the deepest drafts in history, you select, surprisingly, Dion Waiters, who many argued, the Cavs should’ve selected Harrison Barnes, traded up to get Michael Kidd-Gilcrest, but the Cavs selected a SG who isn’t afraid to let it fly.  Then you trade three more picks and select Tyler Zeller, with a couple of years under his belt should be a solid role player.

It’s 2013 now, your team, still isn’t there, fans are starting to get restless. Will they see futility again like they saw after Mark Price when Shawn Kemp came and gained 1000 pounds and collectively making the Cavs terrible? No, just be a little more patient Cavs fans. This year’s draft doesn’t have a stand out small forward, and neither does this year’s Free Agency Class, unless you consider Josh Smith a small forward. So you’ll draft some role players, players that are going to get some mileage on them for what’s to come. And what is to come? That’s right, 2014, Lebron opts out of his contract, and comes to fill that glaring Small Forward hole that’s in the Cleveland line up.

On to Phase 3. If Lebron comes back in 2014, you have a team with arguably a top 5 NBA guard in Kyrie Irving, a scorer in Dion Waiters (Who I believe is a poor man’s Dwayne Wade.) Lebron James (One of the best to ever play the game.), Tristian Thompson (Or Cody Zeller, or whoever they might draft in this year’s draft.), And Varajao (If we retain him and he’s still playing if healthy) or Tyler Zeller (If he beefs up.) With a solid bench. Lebron can take a team full of D-Leaguers to the Playoffs (We’ve seen it done). So imagine what he can do with Kyrie Irving.

You’re Dan Gilbert, you just tricked the world, and the entire NBA. You made a city hate a man, while secretly building your Casino and getting Downtown Cleveland ready for Lebron’s return.

Remember, I’m not saying this happened, I’m not saying that I even believe something so outlandish can happen. But it’s not entirely impossible. Sometimes you have to enter some dark days to get to the lighter days. And if this indeed really happened, and Lebron comes back to a decent team. It doesn’t mean that they’ll win the Championship, as Ray Lewis said after the Ravens played against Denver, “You still have to play the game.”

But if that game is played with Lebron coupled with Kyrie, some solid Role Players, you could see Cleveland winning at least one championship. We’re not a greedy city, give us just one, we’ll love you all the same as if you brought us more. So here’s to Lebron possibly coming back to fulfill his promise in 2014.

(Also, if you do not know me, you’ll know that I’ve never been a Lebron fan. I’ve been a huge Kobe/Bynum fan since they both came into the league. So when Lebron left, I didn’t care either way. But being a Clevelander, I can’t even lie to say that I wouldn’t enjoy a championship parade from any of our teams, Browns, Indians, or Cavs.)

Rather you agree with this, disagree with this, please let me know by e-mailing me at admin@vensingray.net please keep the e-mails respectful for I will be posting them all with you permission. Thank you.