Steve Kerr: Dan Gilbert Needs To Get Over Losing LeBron

Steve Kerr, former Phoenix Suns GM, is no fan of what’s going on in the NBA lately.  He’s especially not happy with how the league handled the nixed Chris Paul trade to the Los Angeles Lakers, and he made that known on San Francisco sports radio.

There are so many trades made these days that are lousy trades that are made for financial purposes. I mean I made one of the worst trades in NBA history. I traded Kurt Thomas and two first round picks to Seattle for nothing, to save 16 million dollars for our organization. Where was the NBA then to veto that trade for basketball reasons? That had nothing to do with basketball reasons.

And don’t get him started on Dan Gilbert’s intervention.

That guy is a billionaire, they have been way over the cap while they had LeBron, way over the tax. He’s still upset that he lost LeBron and he needs to get over it. LeBron gave that franchise the best seven years they have ever had. He was a free agent and he decided to leave. Nobody likes the way LeBron left, even he apologized for it the other night on TV but the fact is there is a thing called free agency and if a superstar player wants to leave when they are agents, they can leave. That’s their right.”

Kerr makes some great points.  Dan Gilbert wasn’t complaining about anything when he had LeBron.  And people seem to forget that he actually re-signed LeBron once in that time.  So it’s not like LeBron bolted the first chance he got.  But from the moment LeBron bolted, Dan Gilbert has been front-and-center trying to be the face of small-market owners screwed over as large markets destroy the league. 

I suppose now would be a good time for an aside to point out that the Cleveland television market ranks 18th in the United States with 1,526,200 TV homes in 2011, while Miami ranked 16th with 1,580,580 TV homes (source).  So while LeBron did, technically, leave for a larger market, he didn’t really.  I’m sorry for throwing out all those numbers, but the myth that Miami is some giant TV market has arisen because it now has three stars and they’re on every national broadcast.  Cleveland and Miami are equal in market size.  EQUAL.  So let’s not lump the LeBron move in this “big markets fleecing small market” mess.  LeBron jumped from a mid-market team to a mid-market team.  

So I agree with Steve Kerr.  Dan Gilbert needs to stop complaining about parity because he allowed an atmosphere that hastened LeBron’s exit.  The Hornets mess?  The owners shouldn’t get to vote on that either, because even though they each own 1/29th of the team, they all own their own teams too, so there’s a conflict of interest.  The NBA gave control of the franchise to Dell Demps and it was overseen by Jac Sperling.  They gave him full authority to make deals and Sperling was there to make sure it was all above board. 

Kerr has a right to sound pissed off because as much as people are interested in basketball again, they think David Stern is a joke.  And Gilbert is an even bigger joke.  Unfortunately for all of us, these jokes aren’t funny.