Dan Gilbert has taken on the role that Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks has. Where both men were once the mouthiest owners of the league, both have stepped back from their proclamations to focus on the future of their franchises.
While Cuban’s may seem a bit more stable and achieved, Gilbert’s seems much more profitable for him and the city that he resides in. As the man LeBron James (the basketball player, the brand, the businessman) once consulted on his own endeavors, Gilbert is still thriving financially off of the attention James brought the rarely-referenced city of Cleveland, Ohio.
You don’t like him? You wish he would have kept his letter about Lebron’s disconcerting exit from his franchise to himself? Who doesn’t? Gilbert may even sometimes recapture the events that led to his $100,000 fine and shake his head.
The damage was done and no well-articulated speech about Cleveland’s future was going to fix things within the franchise. So, if that moment from Gilbert is what you have stamped his forehead with for the rest of time, then you probably are not too fond of Gilbert the Man. However, his actions as Gilbert the Businessman make him much more respectable than anyone gives him much credit for.
As reported by ESPN, Gilbert is not using the Cavaliers’ futility as a way to excuse himself from business and throw himself into his basketball franchise.
If anything the Cavaliers’ owner is using this time to utilize any business venture in order to create or restore a feeling of pride in his city. Cleveland is often referenced to as the Mistake by the Lake, but apparently Gilbert did not get the memo.
According to ESPN, an endeavor from a couple of years ago is finally coming to fruition.
Ohio voters had rejected casinos four times, but this was an offer from the man behind the team that had captivated a state. On a fall night in 2009, after LeBron James and Shaquille O’Neal earned their first win as Cleveland teammates, Gilbert and his co-investors threw a party to celebrate the referendum that some estimate may have won them a billion dollars in future earnings, thanks to control of Ohio’s first casinos.
When it is completely finished it will literally be attached to the Cavs. A walkway will connect the arena and the casino, where fans will be able to park and walk to the game past the gaming tables and slots. The more fans that attend Cavs games, the more people there will be in the casino on game nights.
Park in the casino, have dinner there, walk into the arena past the slots and blackjack tables, stop at a bar in the casino for a nightcap on the way out after you walk past the slots and tables again. Or stop by before or after watching the Cleveland Indians, who play next door. You don’t need an MBA to understand the business plan.
Gilbert is doing primarily well in light of the work stoppage that is plaguing the hearts of many NBA fans. While we are twiddling our thumbs waiting for some signs of life to come out of negotiation rooms, he is doing exactly what made him a member of Forbes’ list.
Dan Gilbert is making money even when it seems as if all hope is lost.