CLEVELAND -- Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert is tired of the
rumors, innuendo and talk about LeBron James possibly leaving the
"Frankly, I don't know why he would leave Cleveland," Gilbert
In recent weeks, James' future in Cleveland has become a topic
of speculation as the Cavaliers have faltered in their push toward
the club's first NBA playoff appearance since 1998.
Gilbert, who took over the club on March 1, addressed the
speculation surrounding James and other topics before Thursday
night's game against the New York Knicks.
"It's definitely surprising to me," Gilbert said of the almost
daily rumors. "You don't hear people say, 'When is Carmelo
[Anthony] leaving Denver? Or when is Dwyane Wade leaving Miami?' It
seems to be what is going to happen with LeBron?"
James, in his second season, has two more years left on his
rookie contract and can become an unrestricted free agent after his
fifth pro season.
But Gilbert, an online mortgage magnate who purchased the
Cavaliers for $375 million from Gordon Gund, has no intention of
letting James bolt. With James as the centerpiece, Gilbert's plans
are to build a team capable of winning multiple titles.
"Let's get it right, LeBron is here for three more years,"
Gilbert said, pounding a fist into his open hand for emphasis.
"People don't understand the collective bargaining agreement or
how it works. We hope he's here for his whole career and we're
going to do what we can to make that happen. We're very
The Cavaliers entered Thursday's game in the No. 7 playoff spot
in the Eastern Conference, and Gilbert is upset with the perception
that he and his ownership group have been hurting the Cavs since
Gilbert fired coach Paul Silas on March 22, a move he said was
essential for the Cavs to make the postseason. Gilbert also denied
having direct involvement in deciding which players are on the
"I came from the financial world and people don't print false
rumors," he said. "There are things being written on a daily
basis that are completely false. We don't meddle. We haven't ever
told a coach who to play or who to sit down."