There is the link to the Dwyer article. Read it. Read it. And then read it again. It might make sense to you at first. But after reading it several times, read what I’m about to write. The entire article is a house built on sand. Let us look at each argument that Dwyer makes, and then finish with an overall assessment of the general point the article is supposed to make.
“when the egos in the front office approximate the egos on the court, then you have a recipe for disaster.”
Why, exactly? What proof does this man have that an owner having a big ego actually hurts the team? Has he heard of the Steinbrenners? What about Jerry Reisndorf? Maybe Mark Cuban? Apparently, the great Kelly Dwyer hasn’t heard of any of these men because to make a statement like the one above you have to discount the owners with huge egos who have, in fact, done wonderful things for their respective franchises.
I mean, if Dan Gilbert has a large ego, than George Steinbrenner had an ego the size of the moon. Did it hurt the Yankees? Is winning umpteen titles with that man as the owner considered “hurting?” I don’t really think so, but apparently Dwyer does. Either that, or he didn’t consider his statement before writing it out. I’m guessing the latter is truer than the former. Basically, this line is like a fortune cookie line. Say it because it sounds nice. Doesn’t mean it has any truth to it whatsoever.
“Cleveland fans should have known from the second Gilbert brought up winning a ring for the Cavaliers ahead of James’ Heat squad that it was over.”
What does this have to do with anything? If by this time, you are still pointing to Gilbert’s guarantee, then you are just arguing for the sake of arguing. If you are honest with yourself, you know that Gilbert wrote the letter out of frustration and anger. He also wrote it to rally the fan base. If one seriously wants to hold him to that letter, then go ahead and put your head in the sand. However, I ask you this. Why not hold LBJ to the same standard? Did he not guarantee to win a ring for the city of Cleveland? Yes, he did. Either hold both to that standard of being able to back up words said in the heat of moment, or hold neither.
I choose to hold neither to that standard. Gilbert was mad. I’m not an idiot. I could clearly see that his letter was meant to rally the fan base and nothing more. Finally, if one is to use the letter, has he failed on his promise? Did he say they would win a ring this year? No. He said they would win a ring before LeBron. Has that promise been broken? Nope. Until it is, I see no point in continuing to bring it up.
“It is hard writing this without making it an “I-told-you-so” piece. The issue with it is that I didn’t tell it like this, so I can’t say “I told you so.” I picked 12 wins for this team, but I also assumed the Cavs would break it up after two months or so, once the reality of that lacking roster hit home. They didn’t work it out that way, but through injuries, the expected exodus of Williams and Varejao came through without the added luxury of actually receiving assets in return. It’s the worst of both worlds, as the Cavs struggle to hit double-figure wins with the remnants of the LeBron era still dotting the roster. Suffice to say, this has been badly, badly mishandled.”
Maybe someone can explain this paragraph to me, because I don’t understand it. Dwyer wanted the Cavs to rebuild. Whether they wanted to or not is beside the point. Here they are rebuilding. What difference does it make if you go about it by trading away your entire roster or keeping your roster and losing? The whole point of rebuilding is to get a high draft pick. They are on their way to having the worst record in the league. What’s the problem? What’s the complaint? I don’t get it. Is Dwyer angry because they didn’t do it the way he thought they should? He the hell cares? They are going to end up at the same destination but just took a different route to get there. It’s like complaining that your girlfriend took a different route on her way to pick you up even though she was still on time. You would be complaining for the sake of complaining at that point. It’s childish.
Second, who is to say anyone would have taken Jamison or Mo Williams two months into the season? I certainly am not. Neither is Dwyer. He is operating under some assumption that the Cavaliers, even after two months of suck, still thought they could make a run at it. Have you seen any inclination of that? They have been shopping around their TPE for DRAFT PICKS!!! Not another big, bloated salary. Draft picks. That tells me this front office has known it needs to rebuild for quite some time. Dwyer is insinuating that only very, very recently have they decided to try and blow this thing up but that it’s now to late. Where is the proof of this? Over a month ago we were reading about the Cavs trying to get in on the Melo to NJ deal, not in hopes of landing someone like Devin Harris, but in hopes of getting someone’s draft pick. Does that sound like a front office that was still trying to win this year to you? It doesn’t to me, either.
“Somehow, Dan Gilbert has overshadowed “The Decision.” In real basketball terms, he’s made the situation 10 times worse because his ego couldn’t handle a proper reaction to losing an MVP for no return. James’ Hummer may have cut Gilbert’s Ferrari off in traffic, a jerk move if we ever saw one, rendering Gilbert’s roadster to the scrap heap. But a real leader walks to the service station after that. He doesn’t get back behind the wheel, making “vroom, vroom” noises as he tries to get the engine to turn over, and expect to get back up to 65 miles an hour. Or 65 wins, in this regard.”
In what way has Gilbert overshadowed the “Decision.” Dwyer doesn’t say. He uses a metaphor without actually explaining the metaphor. Does he mean the letter? Does he mean the basketball decisions? I’m not sure, and either way, neither are right. In terms of basketball decisions, what exactly is the wrong move that he’s made? They didn’t add more salary when they could have. They could have easily used that TPE and brough in Al Jefferson. They didn’t. They have made panic moves during the season in attempts to hang onto to former glory. Someone, anyone, explain to me the bad decision here if what you wanted was a rebuild? I don’t see it. Dwyer does, I guess, but he doesn’t actually explain it.
Now, what is Dwyer’s whole point? It is that he wants you to believe that Dan Gilbert is the reason the Cavs are bad. Not only that, but you should be angry that the Cavs are bad, and you should be angry at Dan Gilbert. Now, in a logical world, it would be impossible for Dwyer to even make this argument. Why? Because HE SAID THAT THE CAVS WOULD BE BAD AND HE WANTED GILBERT TO BLOW THE TEAM UP!!! How is it that a man can initially say that it would be best if a team is bad and then turn around and say that the fans should be angry that the team is bad? If it is good for the franchise in the long run, why should I be mad, exactly? I mean, Dwyer wanted Gilbert to blow this thing up in the summer in order to ensure it was bad, right? So why am I now supposed to be angry that the team, in fact, is bad? There is no logic in this reasoning.
So, how does one explain this? Well, I think Dwyer is simply angry that Gilbert didn’t do it how Kelly wanted him to do it. He didn’t trade Jamison/Williams early enough and even though the team is still going to end up in the same place, the fact that they’ve taken a different route to get there upsets Dwyer for whatever reason. Silly, I know.
But, let us venture down this path for a moment shall we? Dwyer wanted Gilbert to give up on this team from day one and blow this thing up. Exactly how would that move have gone over in Cleveland? Let’s imagine he trades Jamison/Williams/Varejao in the off-season and decides to build for the future, who in Cleveland is excited about that? I can promise that he would have taken hell from the fan base for giving up and doing what many would have considered as giving in to LeBron James. It would have simply been an IMPOSSIBLE PR move. Anyone with any common sense could have reasoned this out. I remember a ton of fans predicting a 45 win season for the Cavs. You think those people would have taken a complete rebuild, starting in the summer, well? No. Instead of Dwyer writing this article, it would have been someone else writing an article about how Gilbert screwed up without ever giving those guys a chance to prove they could play w/o LBJ.
But, and this is most important, doesn’t Gilbert deserve more time to prove whether or not he’s worthy? Since Gilbert bought the team, we’ve seen nothing but success that is unequaled in Cavalier’s history. Yet, because of one bad season, I am supposed to immediately give up on the man? Does that make any sense to any of you? Blame Dan Gilbert for one bad season when this franchise has hit heights in the past 6 years that it never had before? No thanks. I think I have slightly more patience than that.