NEW YORK, (Reuters) – Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert has been fined $100,000 for a scathing letter in which he called LeBron James’ decision to play for the Miami Heat “cowardly behaviour,” the NBA said on Monday.
Gilbert made the comments in a July 8 letter to the team’s supporters shortly after the two-times reigning NBA Most Valuable Player said he would leave Cleveland to play with fellow All Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
James, who was the league’s most prized free agent this year, delivered his announcement in a special one-hour show broadcast live on national television.
Shortly after, Gilbert issued the strongly-worded letter to the team’s supporters and said they, “simply don’t deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.”
Gilbert also said the decision by James, who was drafted first overall by Cleveland in 2003, was a “shameful display of selfishness and betrayal.”