Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert is perhaps most known among NBA fans for an angry farewell letter printed in Comic Sans that he published in the wake of LeBron James‘ departure from Cleveland in 2010. Seven years later, Gilbert and James are on much better terms, but Gilbert was still showing a penchant for saying things other team owners wouldn’t during a press conference today.
Asked about the Cavaliers’ pursuit of Paul George, Gilbert told reporters that the Pacers “could have done better than they did,” per Sam Amico of AmicoHoops (Twitter link). While that’s a view widely held by NBA observers, it’s still surprising to hear it coming in a public forum from a rival team’s owner. The Cavs were reportedly close to acquiring George last month before the Pacers opted to go in another direction, so perhaps Gilbert was conveying some lingering frustration from those discussions.
Here’s more from today’s presser in Ohio:
- When pressed directly, Gilbert said he expects Kyrie Irving to be in camp with the Cavs this fall, but neither Gilbert nor GM Koby Altman would confirm that Irving won’t be traded, or even that he’s asked to be dealt. The duo referred to the situation as “fluid,” as Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com details.
- Altman called the idea that there’s animosity between Irving and James “overblown,” and added that the Cavs still believe they’re in great shape as a franchise, despite the offseason narrative of turmoil and drama.
- James remains “deeply committed” to the Cavaliers, Altman said today, according to Vardon. Gilbert added that the four-time MVP has been “as helpful as he’s even been” this offseason, having helped recruit Derrick Rose and Jeff Green.