Never let it be said that Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert doesn’t take care of his employees. Yes, he pays his players handsomely—the Cavs’ $108,300,458 payroll this season (highest in the NBA) is proof of that. But what we’re referring to is how he treats the members of the franchise who don’t show up in the box score.
According to the team, Gilbert offered to foot the bill for any full-time Cavaliers employee who wanted to travel to either Game 1 or Game 2 of this year’s NBA Finals. Employees were offered roundtrip airfare, dinner in San Francisco and a ticket to either Game 1 or 2 as a sign of the franchise’s gratitude for their hard work.
“The Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena were recognized as one of the top three game experiences in the NBA this past year,” Team CEO Len Komoroski said. “It’s a great business to be in, but it’s also one that is comprised of a lot of hard work and time and effort and energy. This was an opportunity for our team members to create some lifetime memories.”
Over 350 people took Gilbert up on his offer.
Considering that airfare is never cheap and that the Golden State Warriors were charging friends and family of Cavs’ players $1,300 per ticket for Games 1 and 2, the total bill must’ve been mind-boggling. “Suffice to say this was a substantial investment,” Komorski said. “There are not too many owners in sports who would do what he does for our team members and invest at that level. So we are really fortunate he views it as something incredibly worthwhile that helps promote our terrific culture.”