Sunday, January 09, 2005

Show me the money

I know, I know, I've been lax. But I'm back, so here I go.

Conversation I had with Dan Gilbert last week:

BW: You have this pet phrase, "money follows, it doesn't lead," can you tell me exactly what you mean by that?
DG: Well, a lot of companies just look at profit and loss sheets and they're always trying to squeeze expenses out of the middle to make the bottom line better. We don't believe in that. We believe that you get talented people and give them the tools and, well, the money will follow.
BW: In that case, will you buy my newspaper?
DG: Um, like, subscribe?
BW: No, I mean, like, buy the whole thing.
DG: (laughs) I don't know, maybe.
BW: Well, I think I have a LeBron quality about me.
DG: Really?
BW: Well, no, but I can do a wicked crossover with him on NBA Live 2005 and I can spell Zydrunas Ilgauskas without looking it up.

OK, I digress. The point is that Gilbert doesn't believe in doing things on the cheap. That's what he says and that's what he does. His company, Quicken Loans, gives employees loads of perks. As a result they have a high retention rate, a high morale, and one of the fastest-growing revenue streams in the country.

Does this mean he'll spend wildly with reckless abandon? No. Spending lots of money doesn't always equal greatness, look at the freaking Knicks, their payroll is $100 million. But Gilbert's philosophy should get Cavaliers fan excited.

Now is the time to spend money. The payroll is going to explode soon. Z and Jeff McInnis are free agents. Drew Gooden and LeBron James will want massive extensions soon. Then there's free agents like Michael Redd and Ray Allen out there. And here's Gilbert saying he wants to get talented people and give them the tools.

Sounds like this could be a good marriage.

Want more? Check out my game stories on the Cavaliers wins over the Bobcats, Hawks and Knicks last week. Charlotte gamer has funny stuff about LBJ's mask.

If you're joining the Anderson Varejao cult, you'll enjoy my Sunday Column from last week. Oh, and I know he looks like Sideshow Bob from the Simpsons. But please, I've worked very hard to cultivate the "Wild Thing" moniker that I gave him in the preseason. I've even bribed Gund Arena sound man and Kenny Roda Show producer Andre Knott to play the song when he does something wacky in the games. So don't disappoint me, call him Wild Thing.

To explain why Luke Jackson's had a lost season along with other news and notes, check out this week's Sunday Column.

I promise to update more often. Cavs are heading West, six cities in 12 days. I imagine I might have something to say about it. Plus you can check in to see if I'm having any more travel nightmares. I have flights planned on five different airlines to get it done and will be toting around two suitcases, one of them with a concerning tear, so I'm sure there will be some hijinks.

As always, e-mail at

Take care all,