Dan Gilbert is awful. Earlier this week he wrote a letter to David Stern complaining about the trade that almost sent Chris Paul to the Lakers. When the league voided the trade, everyone smelled something rotten and Dan Gilbert’s letter was a great clue about the origin of the stench. Larry Coon wrote an excellent take down of Gilbert’s ridiculous letter to David Stern.
Gilbert went on to complain that the trade would save the Lakers “approximately $20 million in salaries and approximately $21 million in luxury taxes.” Why is this a problem? Wasn’t the point of the lockout to change the system so that teams will no longer overspend? Isn’t the more punitive luxury tax supposed to dissuade teams from spending above the tax line? Since when is it a bad thing when a team saves money?
Gilbert provides the answer: “That $21 million goes to non-taxpaying teams and to fund revenue sharing.”
That’s stunning. The system is supposed to decrease spending, yet owners like Gilbert rely on teams like the Lakers continuing to spend like they used to — because the proceeds from the luxury tax go to teams like the Cavs. Gilbert is using his position as part-owner of the Hornets to implore Stern to exercise his power as the fiduciary of the Hornets to make a ruling on behalf of the Cavs. This is a blatant conflict of interest. When it purchased the Hornets from George Shinn, the league put team chairman Jac Sperling in place specifically to avoid any conflict of interest.
Gilbert closed his letter with this gem:
When will we just change the name of 25 of the 30 teams to the Washington Generals?
The Washington Generals took the opportunity to invite Gilbert to play or coach the team when they visit Quiken Loans Arena later this month. It would certainly be fitting.