The guy lost in the shadows created by the spotlight on the Antawn Jamison deal is the one signing the checks. Dan Gilbert is truly the unsung hero in Cleveland right now and the fans should recognize what he’s meant to this franchise and the city. Cleveland fans have never had an owner willing to throw caution to the wind and go after key players in order to bring a championship to their city. Players like Andre Rison, Orel Hershiser, Pedro Martinez and Jamal Lewis don’t quite cut it. However, Giblert is ultimately responsible for bringing in talent that will hopefully serve as the key part of the “persuasion package” he is putting together to get Lebron to stay in the city by the lake. He’s given GM Danny Ferry the green light to go out and get what is needed to put the Cavaliers over the hump. I must say, I’m not familiar with this type of ownership. Cleveland fans have always been fed the company line in one form or another. You know the one- “We’re a small market team that is trying to compete.” The Indians seem to have this carved in stone at Progressive Field. Gilbert doesn’t live by that notion. He’s building this team his way- by his rules. He’s an owner committed to bringing not only a championship to Cleveland, but a thriving downtown as well. A star of Lebron’s caliber has to recognize the commitment. If you’re a Cavs fan you certainly hope so. Lebron has always said that his decision at the end of the year will be based on a team’s ability to compete and win championships. The Cavaliers are certainly at that level and look to be for a long time under Gilbert’s ownership.
Yes, Dan Gilbert may be in the shadows right now, but if his commitment to winning produces a long term deal with Lebron I think they’ll be plenty of lights on him then. They’ll just be in the form of spotlights shining on the statue they’ll erect of him in Public Square. -DM