Sportscenter might as well go by LeBron Watch at this point, and everyone in our life is asking us what’s going on, as if Dime has a source within LeBron James‘ camp. We don’t, obviously, but a report from ESPN.com today has added a soupcon of clarity to James indecision — Chris Sheridan’s report notwithstanding — having to do with his still-fractured relationship with Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert.
If you’re in the dark, Gilbert wrote a Comic Sans takedown of James following his much-maligned Decision announcement in the summer of 2010. Despite the overwhelming antipathy James inspired from his live announcement that he was “Taking his talents” to South Beach, the letter was a personal attack on James, and it was still — through an archived link — on the team’s website until late Sunday night.
Now comes word from Chris Broussard at ESPN.com that the letter and the gulf between James and Cleveland’s sub-prime pushing owner is the primary reason he’s neglected to announce his decision:
One reason, if not the major reason, that LeBron James has taken so long to decide whether to play in Miami or Cleveland next season is the infamous letter Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert penned about James after the superstar left Cleveland in 2010, sources said.
In the letter, written in Comic Sans font, Gilbert called James a “coward” and mocked the many nicknames and catchphrases attached to James, such as “King James,” “The Chosen One” and “Witness.”
The letter appears to be the biggest roadblock in James’ legacy-changing return to the Cavs. One source even told ESPN, “If it wasn’t for that letter, this would’ve been done awhile ago.”
There has been talk of a reconciliation between James and Gilbert in recent years, but no actual meeting has ever been reported, and Gilbert has never issued a public apology for his tantrum after James left.
LeBron is said to be discussing options with his family before arriving at his next decision (lower-case). He flew back to Miami last night — with Dwyane Wade reportedly aboard the jet — after taking a meeting with Pat Riley in Vegas. The meeting with the Godfather, Riley, is the only face-to-face meeting James has given during his indecision this summer.
Various reports have James making his decision before he flies to Brazil for Sunday’s FIFA World Cup Final between Argentina and Germany, but he might put it on hold until after the game as he continues to weigh the pros and cons of the two teams most likely to have him in uniform next season: Miami or Cleveland.