As of last night, the Cavs' official website still hosted owner Dan Gilbert's hysteric, petulant open letter to Cavs fans, hastily composed in the aftermath of LeBron James announcing he was leaving for Miami. It would have been exactly four years old tomorrow. It has now, finally, been deleted. Comic Sans is dead; long live Comic Sans.
It was awkward to keep it up that long, and it's even awkwarder to only take it down just as the Cavs step up their courtship of James. But clearly it had to go.
I think we need to take a step back and appreciate just how bananas that letter's existence is. The rant, touching on everything from loyalty to rebirth, and sprinkled with a healthy misuse of quotation marks, would have been bizarre enough if it were simply posted to the RealGM forums—or, as Craggs noted at the time, "wrapped around a brick". But to come from an NBA owner, obviously typed out in a huff within hours after James's announcement, was glorious evidence that being rich and powerful doesn't make you less unhinged.
(If you're too young to remember, Gilbert's personal guarantee that Cleveland would win a title before LeBron was just as funny then as it is now. But in his defense, the Cavs lead the NBA in draft lotteries won.)
For the record, Gilbert said earlier this year that he has some regrets.
"I would've reworded the language in The Letter, but I don't regret sending a letter out to our fan base. People forget the letter was not to LeBron, it was to our fan base. If I had to do it again, for sure, I would've reworded several parts of it. But I think it definitely needed a strong statement from me at that time. I keep a couple binders on my desk and I have a binder of the responses to The Letter from the people of Cleveland. There's thousands, maybe 2,000 from every facet of life, from CEOs of big companies to hand-written letters from 94-year-old ladies, from street sweepers to policemen and firemen. The response went way beyond. For some reason, it appealed to this generational Cleveland thing. If you want to talk about books, someone should publish all the responses to The Letter. It was like, 'We're from Cleveland and we've been rejected.'"
Though the original letter is gone, the (nutty, nutty) sentiment remains. But that's not enough. Thankfully, Matthew Torino grabbed a copy from the Cavs' website last night, just before it was deleted. Here it is, preserved forever in its original form, because crazy isn't quite crazy enough unless it's in Comic Sans.