Dan Gilbert is already declaring that he will do whatever it takes for the Cleveland Cavaliers to keep Kyrie Irving with the franchise for his entire career.
"It's still a little bit early, but we feel good about Kyrie being here for his entire career," Gilbert said before Wednesday's season opener. "We think we set up an environment and a culture that is conducive to him being not only an All-Star but hopefully the leader of our championship-contending team. We'll keep going until we get to that point, whether it's this year or next year, whatever it might be."
Gilbert believes that Irving and Mike Brown are building a great relationship.
"That head coach/leader-star relationship is absolutely critical, as you all know in building a championship team," Gilbert said.
Gilbert can see a difference in the culture of the Cavaliers.
"I think it's a whole different feel around here," he said. "We have higher expectations, obviously, than the last few years. There's just a whole different chemistry and feel, not only in the locker room, but also in the whole organization when you walk around, you talk to people in the business office, you talk to the coaches, you talk to the players.
"That was a feel we had all summer, even at the practice facility. It's one of the years where talent's evolved and we picked up some players and we have a defensive-minded coaching staff. Expectations are higher, not only for us, but the fans – as they should be."