The real reasons LeBron James is leaving Cleveland, the owner of the Cavaliers, is that he wants to be closer to his family, Gilbert said Wednesday.
“I would be lying if I said I didn’t think LeBron was going to make that decision, but at this point, the time was right for me to take the next step and make the decision that I feel comfortable making,” Gilbert said in a statement.
“We’re moving forward and I’m very confident in the direction of our franchise.
We’ll have a new arena and new players in a couple of months and hopefully a championship in the fall.
I’m excited to continue the journey and I know I’ll be back.”
The Cavs, the NBA’s longest-tenured team, finished 31-34 last season and have not won a playoff series since 2007.
Gilbert said Tuesday that the Cavs’ front office is working on a new plan to build a new team and he reiterated Wednesday that Gilbert was confident in a new owner.
Gilbert’s statement came two days after the Cavaliers hired Tom Barrasso as president of basketball operations and the team’s first full-time coach since 2009.
Barrasso, a former college basketball coach at Kansas, is the highest-paid coach in NBA history at $1.8 million per year.
Gilberts ownership group includes his father, Dick, and his brother, Bob, who owns the Miami Heat.