Dear Cleveland, All of Northeast Ohio and Cleveland Cavaliers Supporters Wherever You May Be Tonight;
As you now know, our former center, who we drafted in 1996 out of a region you probably never heard of, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier.
This was announced after we traded him to the lowly Washington Wizards in February and waited for over 30 days for him to become eligible so we could re-sign him to a lowball offer.
Now, despite a several-day, narcissistic, self-promotional buildup culminating with a national TV special of our former King’s “decision” unlike anything ever “witnessed” in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment, the self-proclaimed “Big Z” is taking his act to South Beach as well.
Clearly, this is bitterly disappointing to all of us.
The good news is that the ownership, team, and the rest of the hard-working, overpaid, overrated bums here at your hometown Cavaliers have not betrayed you nor NEVER will betray you, because frankly, we can't. It's hard to gain trust when you stink.
There is so much more to tell you about the events of the recent past and our more than dismal future. Over the next several days and weeks, we will be communicating much of that to you.
You simply don’t deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.
You have given so much and deserve so much more.
In the meantime, I want to make one statement to you tonight:
“I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER ‘BIG Z’ WINS ONE.”
You can take it to the bank.
If you thought we were motivated before tonight to bring the hardware to Cleveland, I can tell you that this shameful display of selfishness, piggybacking, and betrayal by one of our very own has shifted our “motivation” to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels.
Some people think they can win a title but NOT have to play here to get one.
Sorry, but that’s simply not how it works.
This shocking act of disloyalty from our own drafted “Big Z” sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And “who” we would want them to grow up to become.
But the good news is that this heartless and callous action can only serve as the antidote to the so-called “curse” on Cleveland, Ohio.
The self-declared former “Big Z” will be taking the “curse” and his slow-footed post moves, lack of defense, and the speed of a paper clip with him down South. And until he does “right” by Cleveland, Ohio, and Lithuania, Ilgauskas (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma.
Sleep well, Cleveland.
Tomorrow is a new and much brighter day…
I PROMISE you that our energy, focus, capital, knowledge, and the bums that disappear in the playoffs on our remaining roster will be directed at one thing and one thing only:
DELIVERING YOU the championship you have long deserved and is long overdue…
Sincerely pissed off
Stephen D. Riley appears courtesy the AFRO-American Newspapers and afro.com