Dan Gilbert thanks LeBron in letter after Lakers announcement

Cavs owner salutes James for delivering 2016 championship, vows to retire No. 23

Daryl Ruiter
July 02, 2018 - 12:32 am
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) celebratew with the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy after beating the Golden State Warriors in game seven of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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Cleveland, OH (92.3 The Fan) – Cavaliers owner and chairman Dan Gilbert thanked LeBron James following the announcement that James would join the Los Angeles Lakers.

It's the second time Gilbert has written a letter following an announcement by James that he would leave the Cavs to play elsewhere, but this one struck a much different tone than the one in 2010 - gratitude.  

Here is the complete unedited text of Gilbert's letter, which was released late Sunday night by the team.

“We will always remember the evening of June 19, 2016 as the Cleveland Cavaliers, led by LeBron James, ended the 52-year drought delivering the long elusive championship that many thought they would never see... A championship that united generations of Clevelanders, both living and passed.

Virtually anyone with roots in Northeast Ohio paused and felt the memories of the past and the utter joy that the burden of the so-called ‘curse’ was finally a thing of the past. Cleveland, Ohio was the home of a championship team for the first time since 1964. Words do not express the meaning and the feeling this accomplishment brought to the people of Northeast Ohio.

None of this would have happened if LeBron James did not agree to come back home and lead the Cavaliers to the promised land. The entire Cavaliers franchise thanks LeBron for that precious moment and for all of the excitement he delivered as he led our team to four straight NBA Finals appearances.

LeBron is a family man, first. We wish his kids, his wife Savannah, his mother Gloria, and LeBron himself nothing but the best in the years and decades ahead. LeBron’s connection to Akron, Cleveland and all of Northeast Ohio will most certainly endure as his commitment to the region and his support of many important causes has been impactful to so many kids and families.

LeBron, you came home and delivered the ultimate goal. Nothing but appreciation and gratitude for everything you put into every moment you spent in a Cavaliers uniform. We look forward to the retirement of the famous #23 Cavs jersey one day down the line...”

Dan Gilbert

Chairman

Cleveland Cavaliers