Book: Dan Gilbert refused to say LeBron James’ name in meetings for years after The Decision

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As Dan Gilbert tried to welcome LeBron James back to Cleveland, the Cavaliers owner framed their first tenure together as “five great years and one bad night” – a sentiment LeBron echoed.

But rock bottom lasted far longer than the night of The Decision and Gilbert’s infamous letter.

Return of the King” by Brian Windhorst and Dave McMenamin:

Gilbert had continued to stew, though, and in meetings he refused for several years to say James’s name.

That’s some deep-seated resentment, something not merely stemming from the passion of a single night.

LeBron’s and Gilbert’s relationship still has rockiness, but they came together to win a championship and are pursuing another. LeBron provides on-court excellence, and Gilbert spends big. It’s a fruitful combination, no matter the animosity that preceded it.

But it’s still a wonder they reconciled at all.

Disclosure: I received a promotional copy of “Return of the King.”