Photo credit: Phil Long/AP

GQ has a big LeBron James feature out today, and in it the Cavs superstar is asked about the crazy letter Cavs owner Dan Gilbert wrote after James left Cleveland for Miami in 2010. Specifically, he’s asked if he believes Gilbert’s letter had racial overtones:

Did you feel like Dan Gilbert’s letter was racial?

“Um, I did. I did. It was another conversation I had to have with my kids. It was unfortunate, because I believed in my heart that I had gave that city and that owner, at that point in time, everything that I had. Unfortunately, I felt like, at that point in time, as an organization, we could not bring in enough talent to help us get to what my vision was. A lot of people say they want to win, but they really don’t know how hard it takes, or a lot of people don’t have the vision.

So, you know, I don’t really like to go back on that letter, but it pops in my head a few times here, a few times there. I mean, it’s just human nature. I think that had a lot to do with race at that time, too, and that was another opportunity for me to kind of just sit back and say, ‘Okay, well, how can we get better? How can we get better? How can I get better?’ And if it happens again, then you’re able to have an even more positive outlook on it. It wasn’t the notion of I wanted to do it my way. It was the notion of I’m gonna play this game, and I’m gonna prepare myself so damn hard that when I decide to do something off the court, I want to be able to do it because I’ve paid my dues.”

There are a lot of things to admire about LeBron James, and one of them is his willingness to dangle that letter over Gilbert’s head. I hope he mentions it during next summer’s press conference announcing that he will be signing with the Lakers.

You can read the rest of GQ’s story here.

[GQ]

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