Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 10/30/12
CLEVELAND (AP) -- Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert now wishes he wouldn't have guaranteed his team would win an NBA title before LeBron James. When James left Cleveland for Miami as a free agent in July 2010, Gilbert famously promised in a letter to disappointed Cleveland fans that his Cavs would win a championship before James got one with the Heat. Well, that ended in June when James, capping his third MVP season, led Miami to a finals win over Oklahoma City. "Looking back now, that probably was not the most brilliant thing I've ever done in my life," Gilbert said Tuesday. Relaxed and wearing a wine-colored sport coat, Gilbert spoke to reporters on a number of topics before the Cavs' opener against Washington. When the subject turned to James, Gilbert said he would have done some things differently two years ago, most notably his guarantee. "If you're going to predict something that doesn't happen and you're going to do it publicly, you'd for sure take it back," Gilbert said. "When that happened when they won, it was the end of the end of the end of that whole thing. Now there's nothing more to talk about. In a way it was like a little bit of a relief. If they didn't win it, it would've been still another thing of who's going to win it (first)?" Gilbert said James' departure taught the Cavaliers a valuable lesson, one that Oklahoma City seemed to have learned recently in its decision to trade James Harden to Houston. When the Thunder realized Harden was not going to accept a long-term deal, the club traded him before losing him as a free agent. In hindsight, it's probably what Cleveland should have done with James. "The key thing, whoever you are and wherever you are, you can not wait," Gilbert said. "The big lesson was if a player is not willing to extend, no matter who they are, no matter where they are playing, no matter what kind of season you had, you can not risk going into a summer and having them leave in unrestricted free agency and get nothing back for it. "It's not the player's fault. That's on ownership. Had we done that, the whole thing would have been crafted as I'm sure the player or whoever would have said, Of course I would have stayed. You guys screwed up and ruined the whole franchise.' You're in a no-win situation." Gilbert was also asked about another shift of power in the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers adding superstars Dwight Howard and Steve Nash during the offseason. Gilbert doesn't have a problem with the idea of megateams, and said even ones with a surplus of talent are not assured of winning. "I think a competitive league is better than a non-competitive league," he said. "You never know, there could be surprises. We'll see what happens this year."
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Bubba Watson's caddie owns heckler at PGA Championship

NFL denies sending Donald Trump letter about schedule

Michael Bennett calls out NFL stars for not speaking up on social matters

Nationals make astute move in acquiring Melancon

Son of former NFL player Antonio Armstrong charged with death of parents

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

U.S. Senator “appalled” by Bettman’s stance on concussions

Team USA’s Opening Ceremony uniforms look a little treasonous

Lawyer who reps concussion lawsuit wants to speak with Bettman

Tyler Eifert says he will never play in the Pro Bowl again

Australian athletes evacuate the Olympic village after fire

Russian weightlifting team banned from Rio

Texans GM 'disappointed' in DeAndre Hopkins

Can Andre Johnson end his regression in Tennessee?

Favre opens up about painkiller addiction during career

Miami women’s basketball coach criticizes Texas A&M following slideshow

Twin Cities preparing for influx of sex trafficking during Super Bowl LII

WATCH: Bautista bat flip will be available as NHL 17 celebration

Former USMNT, current MLS forward Davies battled cancer, in remission

The definitive guide to U.S. Men's Basketball at Rio 2016

Tony Romo training camp picture leads to fat jokes, concern

Matt Cullen’s family eats cereal out of the Stanley Cup

Texas A&M suspends coaches for sexist slideshow

10 most dangerous college football defenders in 2016

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker