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SBD/July 14, 2014/Franchises
LeBron Goes Home: Dan Gilbert Expressed Regret To James Over Disparaging Letter
Published July 14, 2014
DAN IN REAL LIFE: In Detroit, Vincent Goodwill wrote under the header, "Undeserving Dan Gilbert Wins Yet Again In Latest LeBron James Drama." It is "a little hard to believe in the benevolence of a man who took four years to apologize for defacing someone’s character in some emotional meeting in South Beach last Sunday" (DETROIT NEWS, 7/12). In Boston, Christopher Gasper wrote of Gilbert's letter, "Why did he wait until last week to remove his shameful missive from the team’s website?" He "should have deleted it ... the season after LeBron left" (BOSTON GLOBE, 7/13). ESPN's Michael Wilbon asked, "If you have profound regret, then why didn't you say something before now? Why was this letter up on your team's website until four days ago? So if your regret is so deep and you want to make amends for this so desperately, why now? What happened the last four years?" ("PTI," ESPN, 7/11). SI.com's Phil Taylor wrote James’ ability to forgive "might be the most impressive aspect of his choice." Gilbert "excoriated him when he left, with a letter that was a personal attack on James' character" (SI.com, 7/11). Meanwhile, in N.Y., Michael Powell wrote the Gilbert-James relationship "comes packed with layered wariness," as Gilbert "led the hard-line opposition to the players union a few years back." James was "no less insistent, leading the opposition to the contract that reduced the players’ revenue share" to 50% (N.Y. TIMES, 7/12).
WE CAN WORK IT OUT: In Ohio, Mark Podolski wrote fans may "never know what’s been said in the past few days between James and Gilbert, but both reportedly said their peace, apologized and left it at that." Podolski: "If that’s good enough for them, who are we to complain?" (Willoughby NEWS-HERALD, 7/12). In N.Y., Mike Lupica wrote Gilbert "now gets one of the great do-overs in the history of American sports" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 7/13).