The Cleveland Cavaliers franchise has pretty much been defined by heartbreak over the years.

The entire city, after all, failed to win a title in any major league sport for 52 years, up until the Cavs broke the curse in 2016.

That moment of redemption was indeed sweet, but the Cavs organization has been imbued in a number of controversies throughout their recent history.

Despite being considered a small market team, the Cavaliers have faced some major drama over the course of the franchise’s existence.

Cavs players, coaches, and even its top brass have all figured in juicy scandals that rocked the basketball world.

Let’s recall three of the most controversial scandals in recent Cleveland Cavaliers history.

“The Decision”

Almost 10 years have passed since that infamous TV special that left a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouths. While LeBron James was technically a free agent at the time, it did happen while he was still, at that point, a Cavalier for life.

James was understandably the most heavily courted free agent during that summer of 2010, but it was still hard for people to believe that their homegrown superstar would willingly leave their team.

All eyes were fixated on the then two-time MVP, as he uttered the string of words that completely turned an entire city upside down.

“I’m taking my talents to South Beach and joining the Miami Heat,” James proclaimed at the time, much to the shock of millions all over the world.

The aftermath of James’ departure was terribly gruesome for the Cavs, as they had to pick up the pieces from their divorce with the best basketball player in the league.

After four seasons of mediocrity for the Cavaliers, the prodigal son returned in 2014. The King more than made up for his past “decision” and fulfilled his promise of giving the city of Cleveland its first-ever NBA title in 2016. The Cavs did it in historic fashion, too, overcoming a 3-1 deficit to the Golden State Warriors.

Of course, it was deja vu all over again in the summer of 2018 when James once again packed his bags and joined the Los Angeles Lakers.

Most fans felt like Bron’s mission was completed and they didn’t hold it against him. James certainly learned from his mistakes in 2010, as there were no more TV specials this time around.

“The Letter” from Cavs Owner Dan Gilbert

James’ move to Miami pissed off a lot of people, but none more so than Cavs owner Dan Gilbert. Shortly after “The Decision” was aired, Gilbert penned a scathing open letter directed at James, which was published on the team’s official website.

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The letter was filled with hate and even included an absurd prediction that the Cavs would win an NBA title before James gets one with the Heat. Gilbert’s reaction (which was hilariously written in Comic Sans) was soon taken down from the Cavs’ website but was already shared through multiple internet channels.

Gilbert later admitted that he wrote the letter 45 minutes after the TV special was aired and emotions were running high at the time. Still, the NBA fined him $100,000 for his actions.

As expected, James made Gilbert eat his words when the Heat won back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013.

Once news broke that James was looking to return to Cleveland in 2014, Gilbert personally sat down with The King to let bygones be bygones.

“LeBron, we had five good years together and one bad night; like a marriage that’s good and then one bad thing happens and you never talk to each other again,” the 58-year-old billionaire reportedly said to Bron.

James would eventually accept his apology and also bared his regrets regarding the Decision.

John Beilein’s “slugs” comment

It was quite evident from the get-go that former Cavs head coach John Beilein had a generational gap with the current youth-laden Cleveland squad.

While his somehow “old school” tactics worked well in collegiate basketball, the same approach just didn’t cut it at the professional level.

His days as the team’s head coach appeared numbered as early as December when reports claimed that several players from the team have begun drowning out his voice during practice.

Add in the team’s constant losing to begin the 2019-20 season, it was clear that tensions were already high inside that locker room.

The final nail in the coffin came in January when the 67-year-old tactician reportedly called his players “a bunch of thugs” during a film session.

Beilein was quick to do damage control, claiming he simply misspoke and meant to say his team was no longer playing like a “bunch of slugs” for their improved energy level.

“I called all the players afterwards and explained the situation. We met about it, and I apologized. I apologized about it today as well. It was never intended. The players understand that now. It’s something I have to learn from: enunciate better and be clearer with my intent,” Beilein was quoted after the incident.

While most of his players stood by their coach, it was clear that the damage had already been done.

Given his reputation as a “boomer” set in his ways, most fans weren’t buying into the coach’s alibi. Even retired players turned analysts Kendrick Perkins and Chauncey Billups doubted his claims.

Beilein held the Cavs’ head coaching post for just another month before relinquishing the position on February 19.