Cavs Owner: LeBron Move "Cowardly Betrayal"

Cleveland Cavaliers fans, from left, Josh Hall, Rob Hose, and Mike Adams set fire to LeBron James jerseys after James announced he is leaving the Cavaliers to join the Miami Heat, Thursday July 8, 2010, in Akron, Ohio. AP Photo

Cleveland Cavaliers fans, from left, Josh Hall, Rob Hose, and Mike Adams set fire to LeBron James jerseys after James announced he is leaving the Cavaliers to join the Miami Heat, Thursday July 8, 2010, in Akron, Ohio.
AP Photo
They say you can never go home again, and in the case of LeBron James, that may be especially true, if Cleveland fans feel even a fraction of the ill will displayed by Cavaliers majority owner Dan Gilbert.

In an open letter to "King James" following his decision to defect to the Miami Heat, Gilbert blasted his former superstar for the "narcissistic, self-promotional" media campaign that culminated in an hour-long ESPN special dubbed "The Decision."

"60 Minutes": LeBron's Incredible Shot

Other high notes from the entertaining rant: Gilbert guaranteed Cleveland fans will be enjoying an NBA Championship before LeBron lifts the trophy and he actually transferred the supposed curse on Cleveland sports teams to James and his new teammates.

Read the full letter:

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.

Clearly, this is bitterly disappointing to all of us.

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.

You have given so much and deserve so much more.

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.

Sleep well, Cleveland.

Tomorrow is a new and much brighter day....

I PROMISE you that our energy, focus, capital, knowledge and experience will be directed at one thing and one thing only:

DELIVERING YOU the championship you have long deserved and is long overdue....

Dan Gilbert

Majority Owner

Cleveland Cavaliers

"60 Minutes": LeBron's Incredible Shot

Popular on CBS News

Comments

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Watch Now

New Android App

For your Android phone and tablet, download the FREE redesigned app, featuring CBSN, live 24/7 news.

Download