David Griffin, the former general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers (and current vice president of basketball operations for the New Orleans Pelicans) gave an in-depth interview to Sports Illustrated that was published on Thursday, which revealed that Griffin was “miserable” when he was heading up the LeBron James Cavs. He said that building a roster around James was difficult, and that James got no blame when things went wrong.
It was a brutally honest interview, and Griffin painted a pretty desolate portrait of managing a LeBron team. So does James have a response? Possibly. Sources close to James told ESPN that he was “shocked” by what Griffin said. And then there’s this tweet from late Thursday afternoon:
Alright alright. Enough is enough. The throne has been played with to much and I ain’t for horseplay. Ether coming soon! 😁🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥👑 #JamesGang✊🏾— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 1, 2019
Is that about Griffin’s comments? It’s really hard to tell. He says that “ether” is “coming soon,” but who knows what that might be and who it might be aimed at. Maybe he’s talking about the NBA season. Or maybe James will give an on-the-record response to Griffin’s characterization of his time with the Cavs. But perhaps he’s waiting for Griffin to clear up some things first. From ESPN:
Griffin and a person close to James spoke to each other after the SI story was published, sources told ESPN, and Griffin expressed that some context was missing behind his comments. James' camp encouraged Griffin to clear up his stance on the record, sources said.
Figuring out how Griffin’s comments could be missing some context is an exercise I don’t recommend, but who knows? Maybe Griffin will actually attempt to clarify what he really meant when he told ESPN that he “wept in a broom closet” after the Cavs won the NBA championship, or that “LeBron is getting all the credit and none of the blame.”
Kendrick Perkins, who played with James in Cleveland, contributed his two cents to the conversation, tweeting in support of his former teammate.
Would Griff have any credibility if he wasn’t in the front office with Lebron on team? Griff for the last 2 years you praised Lebron for buying into the Culture in Cleveland and how professional he was and now your saying it’s inorganic?! Your real problem was Dan Gilbert!!! 💯👊🏾— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) August 1, 2019
Perkins makes a great point. Building a competitive roster around James, one of (if not the) greatest player in NBA history, is only difficult if the owner isn’t making the resources available. James could recruit all he wanted, but if ownership wasn’t willing to pay a competitive salary or trade players, that’s out of James’ hands.
Griffin is with the Pelicans now, which means he gets to build a roster around Zion Williamson. But he also has to deal with the Ball family, which could have him weeping in a broom closet in a whole new city.
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