What’s Worse: Ishbia’s Flop or Gilbert’s Letter?


Dan Gilbert and Mat Ishbia may not like each other. But they have added another thing the two men have in common. They are infamous NBA owners.

That came true after Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic lightly pushed Ishbia during Sunday’s game four. Ishbia, who must’ve minored in theatre at Michigan State, did his job of selling the push.

Ishbia is the newest owner in the NBA after purchasing the Phoenix Suns during the season. He is known for owning United Wholesale Mortgage which resides in Pontiac. UWM recently passed Rocket Mortgage, owned by Gilbert, as the largest lender in America.

The two mortgage leaders have been battling for your home loan the past couple decades. And now they’re duking it out for most infamous NBA owner.

Ishbia might have a Sportscenter highlight, but Gilbert has his own memorable moment.

The Hateful Letter

In 2010, when LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers, also owned by Gilbert, to head to Miami, his old boss didn’t take it well.

Gilbert penned a letter noting that Cleveland didn’t deserve this “cowardly betrayal,” and personally guaranteeing that he would win a championship before “the self-titled former king wins one.”

*checks notes*

The Miami Heat won the title in 2012. The Cavaliers finished 21-45 and last in the division.

The sad part is general NBA fans might have actually felt bad for Cleveland. Your home grown, local born generational talent leaves you on national television for another team.

Or as Gilbert put it:

“This was announced with a several day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his “decision” unlike anything ever “witnessed” in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment.”

The letter is so good. But yet it was so wrong to do. You do not write a letter calling out arguably the second greatest player in league history who grew up in the area after he leaves you when he couldn’t win.

You just don’t do it. Unfortunately, like most billionaires, Gilbert got his way. LeBron came back to Cleveland and won them a title. Gilbert is lucky LeBron grew up in Ohio.

Was the Flop Worse?

But was that letter worse than Ishbia’s flop on Jokic?

For what it’s worth, I think both sides were to blame in that situation. Maybe Jokic shouldn’t have stuck his arm out causing Ishbia to fall back. But why didn’t Ishbia just give up the ball? It also seemed like once Jokic got it, Ishbia knocked it out of his hand in a childish manner.

I’ve read a lot of comments and tweets saying Jokic shouldn’t have gone into the stands. He didn’t, Ishbia was sitting courtside. If that’s going into the stands now then maybe we should remove those seats then.

Let’s us know what you think is worse, Ishbia’s flop or Gilbert’s letter.


For more from the author Jeramy Stover, check him out on Twitter here: @jstover96

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Photo Credit: © Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports