Monday, June 18, 2007

A message from Dan Gilbert

Dan Gilbert, majority owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, has posted a message on You have GOT to appreciate an owner who speaks like this. The guy's a fan of the game and of his team, and like all of us, he's happy, but not satisfied with what we accomplished.

Cleveland Cavaliers Fans Across The Land,

Finishing as the second seed in the East with another 50 win season is good.

Winning three straight playoff series and the Eastern Conference Championship for the first time in the Cavaliers’ 37 year history is good.

Playing in the NBA Finals for the first time ever is good.

But it is still not good enough.

The tree is growing, indeed, and we are very proud of this team, the coaching staff and the entire organization.

As we said when we bought this franchise, we have one mission:


This year, we climbed to the center stage of professional basketball: The NBA Finals. As we all know, we were not quite able to climb the final step of the mountain and raise the Larry O'Brien Trophy in Cleveland........ yet. We came a lot closer than the pundits, the naysayers and the muckrakers want to give us credit for, but in the end it will be our ability to climb that final step and bring the championship here to Cleveland that will ultimately be “the diff”.

Progress? Yes.

Growth? Yes.

Priceless Experience? You bet.

We are building a long term culture of winning at the Cleveland Cavaliers. A culture of TEAM. A culture of respect, integrity, community and selflessness. A culture that produces championships.

You saw the team we played that just won their fourth NBA Championship in nine seasons. You saw how they play. You “witnessed” how they conduct themselves on and off the court. You saw how they NEVER let up for one second or one play. They have learned over the years, that it is truly the “inches” that separate the championship teams and organizations from the rest. (as it is in life).

How close is one team from another in the NBA?

Taking nothing away from the Spurs, and as an illustration of how close this game of basketball really is.....and how these “inches” matter so much all of the time...

The Spurs scored on average 1.5 total points per quarter more than the Cavs for the entire series. That’s LESS than one basket made per quarter. It’s two more 3-point makes per game. It’s one more 2-point basket every 16 minutes of the game!

And that is why these playoffs and the Finals experience have been so critically important for the Cleveland Cavaliers. We will learn from this. We will grow from this. We will take that “final step” and realize that the final “step” may not even be a “step” but, rather, an inch here, and an inch there.

Everyone in our entire organization will always ask themselves: “What did we do that worked?”........ “What areas should we look to improve?” This will happen even after we win championships.

On the court. In the Arena. On television. In the box office. Behind the counter. Everywhere.

That’s how teams and organizations become great. By bathing in a culture of curiosity and always seeking to find a better way.

Your enthusiastic and overwhelming support during the regular season and all the way through The Finals was exhilarating. It was truly very special watching the fans and the greater Cleveland region and beyond rally around the Cavaliers. On behalf of the players, the “team behind the team” and the ownership group:


You are the fuel that runs our entire engine. Words alone do not express our gratitude.

When you believe it, then you will see it.

I have zero doubt our time is coming soon. Together we will make it so.

15 weeks until training camp opens....ARE YOU READY?

Dan Gilbert
Chairman and Majority Owner
Cleveland Cavaliers

Personally, I am ready. I know my readers are, too!

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