Pat Riley almost wrote letter like Dan Gilbert when LeBron James left Heat

The Heat president says he was "very angry" when LeBron James left.

LeBron James returning home to Cleveland was a huge moment in sports as it forever changed the future of two franchises.

The best player in basketball was no longer going to bring titles to Miami, which left team president Pat Riley furious. In a feature story by ESPN, Riley admitted he nearly lost it when he received the phone call from James explaining he wasn't going to stay.

Via ESPN's Wright Thompson:

Riley flew home worried and got a text telling him to be ready for a call. About 15 minutes later, his phone rang and [Rich] Paul was on the other end. The agent handed the phone to LeBron, who started by saying, "I want to thank you for four years ..."

"I was silent," Riley says. "I didn't say anything. My mind began to just go. And it was over. I was very angry when LeBron left. It was personal for me. It just was. I had a very good friend who talked me off the ledge and kept me from going out there and saying something like Dan Gilbert. I'm glad I didn't do it."

Riley is referring to Gilbert's letter to the fans, which he published on the official Cavs website when James left the team. His letter, written in Comic Sans font, was widely mocked for being immature.

Perhaps the best part was Gilbert writing the following: "I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER 'KING' WINS ONE. You can take it to the bank."

He didn't deliver on that guarantee.

Gilbert's whole letter was embarrassing, and it's a good decision by Riley by not following suit.

MORE: LeBron James edited Cavs return essay next to oblivious Dwyane Wade



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