Dan Gilbert is “over” LeBron James…no, really, he is…

Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, the man who probably wrote the most famous piece of literature in the history of the Comic Sans font, now says that he’s “over it” when it comes to LeBron James.

Per NBCSports:

“I’m over it. I really am. That’s the truth,” he said. “I let it all out in about 24 hours. I just think we have such a great core and a great coaching staff. We have a lot of opportunities with the trade exception and the draft. I feel good about this team.”

Everything LeBron/Cavs-related is under a microscope this week because the Heat visit Cleveland on Thursday evening. I’ll be tuning in just to see how the Cavs crowd reacts to their fallen hero. And with the way Miami is playing, maybe Cleveland can pull out a win.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Future Power Rankings: Where do the Cavs land?

July 08, 2010 - Strongsville, OHIO, UNITED STATES - epa02241977 Cleveland Cavaliers fans Nicholas Bloom (C) and Jon Schentzov (R) react while watching an ESPN broadcast at a Buffalo WIld Wings sports bar in Strongsville, Ohio, USA, a suburb of Cleveland, as LeBron James announces his free agency decision to play for the Miami Heat on 08 July 2010.

Every so often, Chad Ford and John Hollinger release their Future Power Rankings, which examine how well a franchise is positioned for future success.

Before LeBacle, the Cavs were ranked #8, but fell twenty spots to #28. Here’s why:

In his open letter condemning LeBron, owner Dan Gilbert guaranteed the Cavs would win a championship without their former star, but that’s easier said than done. Cleveland traditionally has not been a top free-agent destination. Now, the team has another problem: Gilbert’s heat-of-the-moment diatribe against LeBron was read by players around the league, and a number of player agents have told us their clients don’t want to play there after seeing how Gilbert treated a guy who made him hundreds of millions during the past several years. In any case, as we’ve seen this summer, players just won’t flock to Cleveland without the lure of LeBron.

The roster itself is another weak point. Mo Williams, Ramon Sessions, Anderson Varejao and J.J. Hickson are good pieces but not the kind of young talent that could carry the franchise forward in future seasons. The Cavs lack trade assets as well.

Cleveland did get a bounty of draft picks from Miami in the LeBron sign-and-trade. But given how stacked the Heat are right now, those picks likely will be the worst in the first round — and the Cavs aren’t going to replace LeBron with a series of No. 30 draft picks.

With LeBron, the Cavs had a shot at signing free agents who wanted to play with him for a chance at a title. Without LeBron, the Cavs are just another small-market, cold weather city and will face the same challenges that Milwaukee, Minnesota, Utah, Indiana and Detroit face when they attempt to woo free agents.

In fact, the Cavs will have an even tougher time after Gilbert’s open letter to Cavs fans blasting LeBron. He may have emboldened the fan base, but like the piece says, generally-speaking, free agents won’t want to play for him.

Wade to Gilbert: LeBron didn’t ‘quit’

Jul 14, 2010 - Miami, Florida, U.S. - Host DWYANE WADE at the Summer Groove Golf Classic for the Summer Groove kick off charity event. Seminole Hard Rock Presents The Summer Groove July 14-18 is 5 days of non-stop action to benefit local and national programs that enrich the lives of youths.

Dwyane Wade has come to the defense of his new teammate, responding to accusations by Cavs owner Dan Gilbert that LeBron James quit against the Celtics in the playoffs (and against the Magic in last year’s postseason).

Wade said he watched every game in Cleveland’s second-round series against Boston, the team that eliminated the Heat in the opening round of the postseason. The Celtics used a similar defensive scheme against James as they did against Wade to open the playoffs, throwing a slew of challenges in the way of both.

“LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant, guys like that understand what Boston’s defense was about,” Wade said. “Their defense was built on not letting one player beat them. You either settle for the outside shot or you pass to your teammates. LeBron had one bad game in the playoffs. Other than that, he did what he could do with the defense all watching him.”

“I don’t see where you can get where he quit,” Wade said. “He just had one bad game. It happens. Kobe had a bad game in the Finals. They won. It didn’t matter. LeBron’s teammates didn’t help him out that game and it made the way he played even worse. But he’s not a quitter. He didn’t quit.”

LeBron was dreadful in Game 5 (3-of-14 shooting) as the Cavs were blown out at home, but he did post a triple-double in Game 6, which is not usually the kind of line that a quitter delivers in an elimination game.

The upside of Dan Gilbert’s rant

Henry Abbott of TrueHoop writes that there is a ‘non-trivial benefit’ to Dan Gilbert’s LeBron manifesto.

That letter, though … while it did a lot of bad things for Gilbert, it completely inoculated him from anyone ever saying that he traded away LeBron James. He cemented his place as the betrayed, which gave him carte blanche to take part in a sign-and-trade, because everyone knows without a shred of doubt that Gilbert didn’t ship James would leave town. That this was Gilbert’s idea is officially crazy talk, now.

Abbott is a sharp guy, and I usually agree with what he has to say, but I don’t think there is any chance that — without this manifesto — Dan Gilbert would be blamed for trading LeBron away. Almost 10 million people tuned into LeBachelor and everyone knows that it was LeBron’s choice and his alone. Had Gilbert stayed quiet and worked out a trade that netted his team a couple of first round draft picks (like they eventually did), no one would have ever said that he traded LeBron James away. And he might be able to sign a big-name free agent someday. I’m not so sure that’s the case now.

Gilbert’s letter did far more harm than good.

Bryan Colangelo’s open letter to Raptor fans

It’s a spoof of Dan Gilbert’s letter. Pretty funny.

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