LeBron James: Why Cavaliers' Probe Will Help The King's PR Battle

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IDecember 3, 2010

LeBron James: Why Cavaliers' Probe Will Help The King's PR Battle

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    MIAMI - NOVEMBER 26:  Guard Dwyane Wade #3 (R)  Carlos Arroyo (L) #8 and LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat sit on the bench during a game against the Philadelphia 76ers at American Airlines Arena on November 26, 2010 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Ser
    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    As LeBron James faces his former squad, the Cavaliers in Cleveland tonight, it appears owner Dan Gilbert is still not over James leaving Cleveland for Miami during the offseason.

    The fiery owner, who lambasted James on the team site after James' "Decision," is now investigating if there was illegal tampering involved in the Miami Heat's construction of their team before the season.

    As a storm of Cavaliers fans makes its way to Quicken Loans Arena Thursday night, it might be Gilbert who will need to take out a loan after reportedly spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to investigate the Miami Heat.

    Here is the latest on the situation and Why The Cavaliers' Probe Will Help The King's PR Battle.

The Probe

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    MIAMI, FL - NOVEMBER 29:  LeBron James #6, Dwyane Wade #3, and Chris Bosh #1 of the Miami Heat sit on the bench during a game against the Washington Wizards at American Airlines Arena on November 29, 2010 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly ac
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Dan Gilbert and the Cleveland Cavaliers have reportedly spent "hundreds of thousands of dollars" to hire a Midwest law firm to investigate if the Miami Heat were illegally tampering this offseason when they assembled "The Big Three" of Dwayne Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh.

    The original Yahoo! report, which cites anonymous sources, states that Gilbert plans to present a detailed report to NBA commissioner David Stern in hopes of launching a tampering investigation.

    Teams were not allowed to contact James before July 1, the start of free agency.

    Obviously, Gilbert feels as if the Miami Heat did.

    If a franchise if found guilty of anti-tampering rules, the NBA can bring down fines, suspend front-office executives and/or take away future draft picks.

The Owner

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    CLEVELAND - OCTOBER 27:  Majority owner Dan Gilbert of the Cleveland Cavaliers talks to the media prior to playing the Boston Celtics in the Cavaliers 2010 home opner at Quicken Loans Arena on October 27, 2010 in Cleveland, Ohio.  NOTE TO USER: User expre
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert made headlines back in July for openly criticizing LeBron James after "The Decision" on the team's official site.

    The fiery owner was criticized and applauded for his outburst against LeBron, calling him the "self-titled future King" and guaranteeing (in capital letters) that the Cavaliers would win an NBA championship before LeBron did with Miami.

    Gilbert also called the act a form of "cowardly betrayal."

    Now, Gilbert won't let it rest, and has delved deeper into the matter six months after James' move to South Beach.

    But Gilbert says the incident is far behind him despite hiring a law firm to investigate tampering charges.

    "I'm over it," he said. "I really am. That's the truth. 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."

    What do you all think? Is Gilbert really over it?

    Regardless, read on for Five Reasons Why The Cavaliers Probe Will Help The King's PR Battle.

5. Gilbert Will Look Worse Than LeBron

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    CLEVELAND - OCTOBER 27:  Majority owner Dan Gilbert of the Cleveland Cavaliers talks to the media prior to playing the Boston Celtics in the Cavaliers 2010 home opner at Quicken Loans Arena on October 27, 2010 in Cleveland, Ohio.  NOTE TO USER: User expre
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    One of the things that Gilbert was criticized for when he wrote the open letter to LeBron was a lot of people thought it could have been handled a lot more professionally.

    To many, Gilbert was childish in his response, and ended up looking worse than LeBron in the end.

    Six months after LeBron left, it doesn't appear Gilbert has entirely let this go, and he runs the risk of sounding like a borderline lunatic, or like that jaded lover who can't move on with his life.

    LeBron looks better in comparison.

4. Gilbert Looks Like a Scary Owner to Play For

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    The more intense this probe gets, the more intense Gilbert will get.

    And not, like, Gregg Popovich intense.

    Crazy intense.

    People will understand LeBron leaving a psychotic dictator-like owner. I mean, a psychotic dictator-like owner can't be a fun guy to play for, right?

    People will wonder if it was more Gilbert's personality that drove LeBron away, not just a selfish decision to cast the spotlight on himself.

3. Fans Finally Identify With LeBron's "What Should I Do?" Nike Commercial

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    It was honestly kinda hard to identify with LeBron's "What Should I Do" Nike commercial.

    I mean, you're making millions of dollars, you already "did" something (you left Cleveland), and you're in Miami now.

    Honestly, I don't really care what you do.

    But Gilbert's incessant probing of "The Decision" and his apparent dependence on LeBron James makes you look at his "What Should I Do" commercial a whole lot differently.

    Like, what should he do to get Gilbert off his back and move on with his life?

2. Gilbert Trumps LeBron For Stupidest "Decision" Of 2010

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    It wasn't necessarily the fact that LeBron left Cleveland that really drew ire for him.

    It was the televised "Decision," in which an hour-long ESPN special made it look like they were covering the most important decision ever to be, well, decided.

    It was the way he did it that angered most fans, and drew him scorn from the media.

    But what is Gilbert doing exactly?

    He's spending hundreds of thousands of dollars investigating something that happened months ago.

    I mean, wouldn't that money be better off spent, oh I don't know, IMPROVING YOUR TEAM.

    If Gilbert really wants to win the championship before LeBron does, he better get cracking.

    Lamenting the past and spending free agent money isn't exactly going to help.

1. Gilbert Shows He Isn't Grateful For Anything LeBron Has Done For Cleveland

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    I know a lot of Cleveland fans are irate at LeBron right now, and they probably can't acknowledge he actually did something for Cleveland.

    But, well, he did.

    That franchise wasn't exactly going anywhere before he landed in Cleveland, and he helped transform the culture in Cleveland to winning basketball.

    Sure, he may not have brought them a championship, but the amount of money he brought into that organization (and that city for that matter) was huge, and cannot be ignored.

    Gilbert can't seem to let this go, and in the process he's probably going to look like he's going way too far (yes, even farther than LeBron's "Decision").

    People are going to get sick of Gilbert, and, in effect, move back to LeBron's corner.

What Did LeBron Do For Cleveland?

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    CLEVELAND - JULY 8:  A larger than life photograph of LeBron James is displayed July 8, 2010 in Cleveland, Ohio. The two-time Most Valuable Player has the choice of remaining with the Cleveland Cavaliers or signing with a new team. (Photo by J.D. Pooley/G
    J.D. Pooley/Getty Images

    If you can go back before, say, July 2010, think of what LeBron did for the city of Cleveland.

    He was a proud Ohio native, and he was paraded around by fans as if he really were The King.

    He gave Cleveland something to be proud of in tough economic times (and, by the way, helped their economy in the process).

    Regardless of what he did in July, he brought a national spotlight to the city of Cleveland, and he was so much a part of the city that people actually cried when he left.

    It's hard for Cleveland fans to forgive him for leaving the way he did, but it's also important to acknowledge what he did for the city when he was there.

Conclusion

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    CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 02:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat smiles as he warms up prior to playing the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on December 2, 2010 in Cleveland, Ohio.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by do
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    In my opinion, Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert seems to be bringing more on himself by investigating tampering charges.

    Nobody ever cares about tampering until their team becomes a victim of it (if there was tampering, that is).

    Although some people will applaud Gilbert for standing up to LeBron and consequently going after Miami, it is bound to make him look like more of a crazy person than a respectable one.

    What made so many people across the country stand on Gilbert's side was the fact that what LeBron did, the way he did it that is, looked very cold and self-promoting.

    But Gilbert risks losing some respectability with this never-ending crusade against LeBron and anyone associated with him.

    And LeBron, the man he seemingly wants to bring down, may "Rise" as a result.

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