Son of Cleveland Cavaliers owner dies at 26

May 8, 2023
Robert Ayers

Nick Gilbert has passed away at the age of 26, ESPN reports

Nick Gilbert is the son of Dan and Jennifer Gilbert. Dan Gilbert is the owner of the National Basketball Association (NBA) team the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Nick Gilbert's passing occurred on Saturday, and it appears to be the result of the rare genetic disorder that he had, called neurofibromatosis. Gilbert, specifically had Neurofibromatosis 1, also known as NF1.

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke indicates that the condition causes the growth of tumors to grow that may impact the brain, spinal cord, or nerves. There is no known cure for the condition.

Remembering Gilbert

If you are a die-hard Cleveland Cavaliers or NBA fan, then the chances are that you are familiar with Gilbert.

According to the New York Post, Nick Gilbert is particularly well-known by NBA fans for having been the Cavaliers representative, on multiple occasions, at the NBA Draft lottery.

The Post recalls Gilbert's draft appearances, including the first one that occurred in 2011, which was the draft that occurred after superstar Lebron James left the Cavaliers for the Miami Heat. The Cavaliers had two picks.

The Post reports:

While their own pick netted the No. 4 selection in the draft despite having the second-highest odds to land the top selection, the pick the Cavaliers owned from the Clippers stunningly landed at No. 1 overall despite having just a 2.8 percent chance to do so. Cleveland used that No. 1 overall pick to select Kyrie Irving, and added Tristan Thompson with the No. 4 overall pick. Both players played pivotal roles as the Cavaliers won their only championship in 2016, after James returned to the team.

Gilbert was there all along the way, memorably wearing a bowtie.

"A light and inspiration"

It is because of stuff like this that Gilbert was thought of as a "good luck charm" for the Cavaliers, particularly on draft night. Altogether, he represented the team on five occasions.

The Cavaliers released a statement following the news of Gilbert's passing,

"Nick was a light and inspiration to so many throughout his 26 years of life," the statement begins.

It continues, "Whether taking on his signature role as the Cavs’ good luck charm during several NBA Draft Lotteries or using his voice to advocate in the fight against NF, Nick’s unrelenting spirit has been a driving force behind our organization."

Gilbert's funeral is scheduled to take place on Tuesday at Temple Israel in West Bloomfield Township, Michigan.

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