DETROIT, Mich. (WJW) – Cleveland Cavaliers Owner Dan Gilbert on Friday made his first public appearance since suffering a stroke last May when he was honored by Crain’s Detroit Business as the inaugural inductee to its hall of fame.
Taking the stage before a sold-out ballroom crowd at the Detroit MGM hotel Gilbert was greeted with a standing ovation.
“We werent going to be raising a Cavs championship this year so I’m very happy about this,” he joked in appreciation of the Crain’s honor.
Gilbert, 58, was hospitalized after he began experiencing symptoms during a gathering in Detroit on Memorial Day weekend.
On Friday, he was helped to the stage using a wheelchair from which he delivered his presentation. His left arm has been in a sling.
Gilbert joked that it has been nine months since his stroke, “Long enough to have a baby.”
Speaking for more than 20 minutes, Gilbert thanked numerous colleagues for the success he has had in his mortgage and real estate businesses. He thanked his wife, Jennifer, for her patience, but did not address his health or his rehabilitation.
“Every single day that goes by, I realize how important relationships are,” he said at one point
His address was focused on the accomplishments of Detroit in which he promised to double down on his accomplishments in the next 10 years.
Speaking about his business culture, Gilbert said he is really in the business of recruiting and developing good people.
He was congratulated by K.C. Kramer, publisher of Crain’s Detroit, who called Gilbert’s tenure as a business leader in the city as, “The decade of Dan.”