Thursday, July 25, 2024

Nick Gilbert, son of Cavaliers owner, dies at 26

Nick Gilbert, the son of Cleveland Cavaliers team owner Dan Gilbert, died on Saturday. He became the teams’ good luck charm at NBA draft lotteries. He was 26, news agency AP reported.

Gilbert was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis (NF1), when he was a toddler, the agency reported adding that the disease is a genetic condition that causes non-cancerous tumors to grow on the brain, spinal cord and skin. There is no cure.

A funeral announcement posted by the Ira Kaufman Chapel said Gilbert died Saturday “peacefully at home surrounded by family.” Gilbert lived in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

Gilbert’s funeral will be held Tuesday at Temple Israel in West Bloomfield Township, Michigan.

Gilbert, who represented the team in 2011 draft lottery, became a viral sensation whilewearing his signature bow tie and dark-rimmed glasses.

The Cavaliers ended up getting the No. 1 pick and selected Kyrie Irving No. 1. It was one season after LeBron James left the team to sign with the Miami Heat.

Gilbert, then 14 years old, quipped, “What’s not to like?” after his father had praised his efforts and called him his hero.

Gilbert represented the Cavaliers at several more lotteries. Cleveland would get the No. 1 pick in 2013 and 2014.He often attended the team’s games at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse with his dad and mom, Jennifer.

The team would draft Andrew Wiggins in 2014 and flip him to the Minnesota Timberwolves in a trade that landed Kevin Love. James, Irving and Love would help bring Cleveland a championship in 2016.

The Cavaliers dedicated their 2022-23 season to the younger Gilbert. The team wore bowtie emblems on their warmups to honour him and raise awareness for the disease.

While he was attending Michigan State in 2018, Gilbert underwent an eight-hour operation on his brain.

Prominent Cleveland figures paid tribute to Gilbert .

Joe Haden, former Cleveland Browns cornerback, twitted “Rest easy king! You brought so much Joy to everyone you encountered! Sending blessing to the Gilbert family!.” 

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