CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert used his Twitter account last night to angrily respond to reports that he helped derail potential progress in the NBA labor negotiations.
In the process, it appears he also invented a word to describe his online detractors.
"Some of these NBA 'bloggissists' flat-out make stuff up and then try to dupe readers into believing their fiction is real. Sad & pathetic," Gilbert wrote.
An ESPN.com story, citing anonymous sources, stated that Gilbert and Phoenix's Robert Sarver expressed discontent with many points of a proposal from the players union during a meeting Tuesday in New York.
According to the report, owners were seriously considering "coming off their demands for a salary freeze and would allow players' future earnings to be tied into the league's revenue growth, a critical point for players. The owners also were willing to allow the players to maintain their current salaries without rollbacks," sources said.
Gilbert and Sarver aired their dissatisfaction in a three-hour owners-only meeting. Sources told ESPN that the New York Knicks' James Dolan and Los Angeles Lakers' Jerry Buss were unhappy with the hard-line stances of Gilbert and Sarver. The meeting ended Tuesday with no progress reported by either side.
Union President Derek Fisher wrote in an email to members, obtained by Sports Illustrated, that a rift existed between the owners. Fisher's email, coupled with the ESPN story, put Gilbert and Sarver in the spotlight, making them targets for pundits.
Following an NBA owners meeting in Dallas last night, NBA Commissioner David Stern denied there is a split among the owners.
"I don't know what the basis of Derek's belief is," Stern said. "But I can tell you, having just come out of the meeting, the vast majority of owners are indeed in favor of a 'hard-cap system,' as Derek refers to it. Having said that, they authorized the committee to be ready to negotiate on all points, and the committee is."
Gilbert has lashed out in the past, most famously in his letter to the team's fan base in July 2010, ripping LeBron James after his decision to join the Miami Heat.
The Cavs owner has remained quiet about the work stoppage that threatens the start of the season. The NBA had issued a memo before the lockout began July 1, warning that any team owner or employee who discussed the lockout or any player during the work stoppage could be fined up to $1 million.
And now this. Makes Fisher's statement seem likely. Who to believe? No one! They're all munchers.