Dan Gilbert had media availability earlier today at Cleveland Clinic Courts and I was there. Some interesting talking points or takeaways from his Q+A session included the fact that he felt that the Cavaliers “did make progress this season”, the “two biggest examples of that progress” according to Dan were “Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson”, and that he has “not studied or explored the idea of buying the Indians”.
Besides all that, he also talked about the NBA Draft Lottery later this month, along with revealing a philosophical shift within the Cavs organization since LeBron James left for Miami.
The Draft Lottery and Grounding Nick: Dan Gilbert said he’s a real superstitious person when it comes to the Draft Lottery later this month. He said he is “trying to do everything the same as they did last year – same clothes, same people, same routine”. He said that other people have asked if they can come this season and he told them no. The same group that went last year, including Josh Cribbs, Joe Haden, Bernie Kosar and Nick Gilbert himself, will be the same people going again. The only new addition to that group will be Kyrie Irving, who was kinda already there too last season anyways I guess. Dan also said that if Nick Gilbert “doesn’t win the first overall pick again this year, he will be grounded for the entire summer.”
Building “With Superstars” as opposed to “Around Them”: This was the major takeaway from Dan Gilbert’s press conference for me. After replying to a question about what the organization has learned over the last couple seasons since “you know who left”, Dan first joked: “You mean since Zendon Hamilton left?” I laughed, because that was funny. What he went on to say from there was both interesting and revealing though, I thought. Dan Gilbert said that since that time, the organization has shifted their philosophy from generally “trying to build around superstars” to now trying “to build with them”. The “with”, he noted, as opposed to the “around”, was the important change in philosophy. I personally also think it’s indicative of a franchise that is learning from the past, growing, and maturing as well. But I don’t think most of my fellow bloggosists will ever give Dan Gilbert credit for something like that. Even though they maybe should.