Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert wanted to put to rest any thoughts of him moving the team to another city. So he turned to Twitter.
“Let’s put any silly rumors to rest: I will never move the Cleveland Cavaliers out of Cleveland. Period. And that’s unconditional,” Gilbert tweeted Thursday.
The rumors stem from the Cavs’ announcement earlier this week that they’re withdrawing from the $140 million Quicken Loans Arena transformation project.
“The Q is the oldest arena in the NBA without a major structural renovation,” the team announced in a release. “The renovation project would have extended the life of The Q to over 40 years when the average life of similar facilities is only 22 years in the NBA.”
Withdrawing from the project means the Cavs will not host the All-Star Game in 2020 or 2021, and according to one Cleveland-based lawyer, has put the team’s future in Cleveland in doubt.
“I think it has put a big question mark on the future of the Cavs in Cleveland,” Fred Nance, the lawyer who negotiated the project, told WKYC-TV. “Because while the deal would have extended [the Cavs’] lease and we wouldn’t have had to deal with this until 2034.
“It’s not clear what’s going to happen in 2027 and owners don’t wait until December 30 of the last year of their lease. They start making those plans years ahead of time.”
But Gilbert, who has invested millions upon millions in the city and the franchise, strongly disagreed.
The Cavs completed their trade of All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night. In return, they received point guard Isaiah Thomas, small forward Jae Crowder, rookie center Ante Zizic, Brooklyn’s 2018 first-round pick and Miami’s 2020 second-round pick.
It has been reported that Gilbert played a large role in finalizing the deal.