In the interest of full disclosure, I’m a Cavaliers fan. So I may have some blind spots when it comes to my team. For instance, I think Dion Waiters is a good player, and Anthony Bennett will eventually make an all-star team. In addition, I’ve never seen a problem with the infamous letter Dan Gilbert wrote after LeBron let Cleveland. Sure is was heavy handed, crass, and inappropriate. But it was the exact way every Cavs fan was feeling. My only wish is that he would have let me contribute a few lines. I could have added some comedic levity, while bringing up his fraudulent elbow injury. The same elbow injury that caused him to shoot left handed free throws, yet was magically healed after healed he left Cleveland.
During Gilbert’s letter rant, he use some language that was crazy. Because that’s what you do in a good rant. It’s not officially a rant unless you sprinkle in some crazy. Some of what he said was seen as racially charge and slave owner like. Now I didn’t see it that way, which can be dismissed by my fandom. However when he characterized LeBron as a coward and disloyal for leaving Cleveland. Many people in the media castigated him for those opinions, and deemed his letter as racist. To this day he is viewed as the single reason LeBron would not go back to Cleveland. Among the media members that have been most outspoken is Dan LeBatard of Highly Questionable. Yet I didn’t here Dan or any other media member (now I’m talking to you Mike Wilbon) who were against Gilbert’s letter, strike down Pat Riley with great vengeance and furious anger (Pulp Fiction style) for his preemptive slave owner rant.
Pat Riley addressed the media after the Miami Heat’s season came to a close. During the presser he spouted gibberish while making it clear that he will not beg anyone to stay. He also directed a couple comments directly at LeBron. He said, “I didn’t come down here 19 years ago for a quick trip to South Beach and a sun tan. And I don’t think they did either.” and “…And you got to stay together, if you’ve got the guts. And you don’t find the first door and run out of it…” Those comments sound early similar to Dan Gilbert’s. Sure Gilbert went the extra mile with his letter, but LeBron had already left his team. Pat Riley made his statements before James had the chance to hire Jim Gray and disgrace his franchise on national TV.
Also Gilbert was talking in terms of unfinished business. The Cavaliers never won a championship, and to make matters worse James quit on the Cavaliers during the playoffs. Riley on the other hand made his statement s after 4 trips to the finals and 2 championships. So shouldn’t Pat Riley shut up and be grateful, like everyone in the sports media said Cleveland should be? Shouldn’t someone stand up and acknowledge the blatant hypocrisy in Riley’s press conference? Sure it was fine for LeBron to run out on Cleveland, but now the rules change that it’s Miami?
“Where are the people coming down on Pat Riley?”
The only conclusion I can draw is that the media likes Riley. Its convent and lazy to come down on the guy in Cleveland who’s not basketball royalty. But when the Don Pat Riley makes the same statements, you have to show some guts to call him out. Unless of course, it was stupid to go after Dan Gilbert with the vitriol in which the media did. However, that would require those people who were so popular 4 years ago to say they overreacted, and I don’t think they have the guts.
Editor-in-Chief of Comedic Prose
Follow Kortney Williams on Twitter @kortneyshane