CLEVELAND: Even at its worst, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert says he never believed his relationship with LeBron James was irreparable.



“Unless you’re really doing some significant harm to another human being, I don’t think the bridge is ever burned,” Gilbert told reporters Wednesday on the eve of the Cavs’ opener against the New York Knicks. It was the first time Gilbert spoke publicly in eight months.



“We had a night where emotions were flying high on all sides,” Gilbert said. “Things like that happen a lot in business where people have phone calls and heated exchanges and people are writing each other emails and letters, and then the next day they’re eating lunch and doing business. It’s not a be-all or end-all type thing.



“Except when you’re in the sports world, something like that is blown up and the whole world knows it.”



Gilbert said he and James have a good relationship today. The two chatted briefly prior to Cavs practice Wednesday at Quicken Loans Arena and James joked that it looked like Gilbert has grown an inch.



“We had one bad moment and it just overshadowed all the great times we had together,” James said Wednesday. “Now we’re back together. We both have something in common and that’s to bring a championship to this city. That’s what it comes down to. We have an opportunity and we have an obligation to represent this team and franchise the right way.”



The Cavs own the NBA’s worst record over the last four years and Gilbert referenced the butterfly effect and how things could’ve turned out differently with even the smallest alteration.



The franchise is onto its third coach in as many seasons and has endured front office turnover, but Gilbert pointed to winning the lottery coin flip in 2012 that ultimately cost them the chance to draft Anthony Davis – had the Cavs lost the coin flip, they would’ve won the draft lottery and taken Davis. But all of the successes and failures over the last four years, regardless of how minor in a vacuum, delivered them to this point of James’ return and assembling one of the league’s most powerful teams.



“Look, you either can take risks, make mistakes and learn from them, or make no decision,” Gilbert said. “I've always chosen to sometimes take risks. If you're right, that's great. If you're wrong, at least you have significant learning from it.



“The last four years in my view are sort of a payment, almost, for where we're at today.  You couldn't have been where we're at today without going through that kind of pain.”