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Dan Gilbert or Mark Cuban

On Sunday night, there were two owners that were victorious. The first one was obviously Mark Cuban; the owner of the Mavericks who has been as vocal as any owner over the past decade and cares about his team as much as any owner in sports. The second owner was Dan Gilbert, who got to watch Lebron James crumble and the Miami Heat lose in six.

Who Looks Happier?

I know it is kind of ridiculous to ask who was happier. Being that Mark Cuban won a championship and Dan Gilbert just had the first pick in the draft (second worst record in the league). But, Lebron losing was Gilbert’s championship because now his guarantee that Cleveland would win before Lebron stays true. (The Heat will obviously win before Cleveland unless Kyrie Irving is better than Magic and Enes Kanter is more dominant as a rookie than Blake Griffin. Even then, there is a better chance of the Indians winning the World Series than the Cavs making the second round) The Cavaliers are ironically in a similar position to where they were back in 2003 when they took Lebron. The Cavaliers were a declining franchise who took the likes of Desagana Diop and Dajuan Wagner in the top 10. (Neither panned out) The Cavaliers than got the golden ticket, Lebron James. He was the most highly anticipated player of all time coming out of high school and he was going to be able to stay in his home state. Seven years later, Lebron departed from Cleveland with one trip to the Finals but, two straight early exits in the playoffs despite having the best record in the league. He slapped the franchise in the face by publically announcing he was “taking his talents” to South Beach. (This still baffles me a whole year later because Lebron could have eventually won in Cleveland, believe it or not. Everyone young player is immature just ask Kobe, he ran Shaquille O’Neal out of town.  But, Lebron ran himself out of town and left the organization that crowned him king with an empty throne) Ever since that announcement, Dan Gilbert has probably hated Lebron more than any owner has ever hated a former superstar. (Name whoever you want)

Dan Gilbert and Lebron James

The entire season the Cavaliers looked dismal, tortured by injuries, and lacking any form of a superstar. Luckily, on May 17th, they won the lottery and trade deadline move that landed them Baron Davis (Sadly, one of the players that has declined most in this league. But, the man does have a great beard and maybe will play hard for a contract) got them the first pick in the draft. The Cleveland Cavaliers are now in position to take Kyrie Irving (lock) and Enes Kanter (who I would take) with two of the top four picks in June’s draft. All this must have been rewarding for Gilbert (also because his son who has sadly had health difficulties was the one present when the lottery was won) and does make it seem like the lottery is semi-rigged. (Ewing to the Knicks, James to the Cavs, and the fact that the team with the best odds rarely gets the number one pick. Just saying) Ultimately, nothing made Gilbert happier than when the Heat lost on Sunday thanks to his former King. I know it is not all Lebron’s fault but, he did have one of the biggest drops in points per game from regular season to finals in the history of the league. I know it is difficult to imagine that the owner of the worst team in the league could be happier than the owner of the NBA champs but, it had to be kind of close. Lebron ripped the heart out of Cleveland, not just the team but the city as well. Lebron celebrated with his next team just days later at the American Airlines Arena but, now Dan Gilbert got to celebrate as he publically stated to Lebron “There are NO Shortcuts”. (I thought it was great that Gilbert said this to Lebron for the simple fact that his team is still kind of screwed. He would obviously still rather have James but, Lebron completely deserved the public criticism) The fact that Gilbert relished at the opportunity to criticize Lebron so quickly showed the amount of despise he still holds for Mr. James.

But, let me a take step back and emphasize that the passion to win is always stronger than the passion to watch someone lose. I believe that completely because when all is said in done Dan Gilbert did not win because his team is still in shambles and this year’s draft class is weak. Mark Cuban is one of the most passionate owners in sports and his team has been on the cusp of a championship for a long time.

Cuban and Dirk Celebrate in Miami

(He was also up 2-0 against this same Miami Heat team and Dwyane Wade, who is still there, almost singlehandedly, beat them. That makes it sweeter along with the fact that they did a favor to every basketball fan who despised the Decision and what it stood for. A player that could hold a whole team and city in his hand, than squeeze them into the Florida orange juice he was about to drink) He recruited Lebron in the offseason as well, although it came to no avail. It was clearly for the best because now Dirk and Cuban get to enjoy their trophy together. They were an owner-player team that never gave up on one another and they both showed how close their relationship was. At the end of the day, Mark Cuban brought Dallas its first championship in NBA history and the cities first championship since the Stars won in 1999. (But, that’s hockey so I guess you have to go back to 95 for the Cowboys. Just kidding hockey fans, don’t be upset. BTW, I got the Bruins tonight just because my dad has been a fan of them his whole life and it would be great to see them get their first Stanley Cup in almost 40 years) Dan Gilbert was ecstatic when Lebron lost but, Mark Cuban was definitely happier when he won.

This is part 2 of 7, tune into tomorrow for part 3

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