Below are excerpts from the Q&A Dan Gilbert held with the media prior to tip-off.
What are you looking for out of this team?:
"We're all focused on the future. I'm just like any other fan and as anxious as everybody to kind of just see what this is going to look like and I feel really good about it. Byron Scott is a class act and he'd well loved by a lot of people around here and well respected and he's got a lot of history that is very, very positive so I can't wait to see how we do."
Do you regret the statement you sent after the decision?:
"I don't regret it and I've said that over the last couple days. That letter was to the fans and the supporters of the Cavaliers and it wasn't to the player that left, it wasn't to the rest of the world. It wasn't to anybody but them. I wanted them to understand not only how I felt but how everyone felt in the entire organization."
In that case, how do you plan on winning a championship before Miami does?:
"It wasn't before Miami. If you read the letter, it was really before the player that left (LeBron James). You never know. Look, these things will play themselves out and we’ll see what happens. It was certainly something that put more emphasis on the future and put more pressure on everyone here to say, 'Hey, let's deliver as smart and efficiently as we possibly can. We'll see what happens."
Will you ever retire James' jersey?:
"You know, any player as far as I know and we've been here five years, as far as retiring jerseys, we haven't even had that discussion on any player. I would assume that it's something you would do when a player retires. It's something that we haven't addressed. I'm sure it will come up and as it comes up we'll address it. ... A 25-year-old player, I don't know if any franchise or anybody can make that kind of judgment on somebody that young until their career is over."
He said in the GQ article he would entertain returning here. Can you see that happening?
"I learned my lesson based on certain NBA rules that we are not allowed to comment on players who are under contract with other teams. I wish I could comment on that but I can't."
Do you want to blow this up and start over or make the playoffs to show basketball goes on in Cleveland?
"The way you look at this is what is the best moves to make for the Cavs both short term and long term. Sometimes it’s a balancing act. But you won’t know anything until the season really starts. Even then, it’s going to take some time, it’s going to take one-third or even half the season.
Do you have to blow it up and start over to contend again?
"I’m not sure I believe that. If you look at history, you see teams that have gone from great to mediocre to great. And there are teams that have gone from great to the bottom to the top. So I think there’s both. As far as I’m concerned, we have no idea what we’re going to be this year. We could be one of the better teams and hopefully we will be. So let’s see what happens first."
I’m not sure I believe that. If you look at history, you see teams that have gone from great to mediocre to great. And there are teams that have gone from great to the bottom to the top. So I think there’s both. As far as I’m concerned, we have no idea what we’re going to be this year. We could be one of the better teams and hopefully we will be. So let’s see what happens first.