When the Cavaliers players receive a ring on opening night, there won't be the only ones getting jewelry to commemorate the city’s first championship in 52 years. More than 1,000 other members of the organization will also get a ring, thanks to owner Dan Gilbert.
From police officers to janitors and food vendors, everyone who works for the franchise behind the scenes is getting a memento of its greatest achievement, according to Cleveland.com's Joe Vardon.
The rings won't be the same as the diamond-encrusted ones players are getting, but the gesture will cost Gilbert an estimated $1 million. It's not the first time Gilbert has tried to make everyone working under him feel like part of the team. He did something similar with employees of the Lake Erie Monsters, Gilbert's AHL hockey team, when they won the Calder Cup.
Gilbert has had his detractors, in part due to the way he amassed his fortune as a subprime mortgage lender, in part for a ridiculous letter he wrote after LeBron James decided to leave the Cavaliers for the Heat in 2010, and in part for many other reasons. Slowly, he’s tried to rebuild his reputation, first by apologizing and welcoming James back and now with this generous gesture.
The Cavaliers have also reportedly offered rings to former coach David Blatt, who was fired midway through last season, and Anderson Varejao, who was traded and later joined the Warriors.