Former Cleveland Cavaliers GM and current New Orleans Pelicans vice president of basketball operations David Griffin has spoken out about his times at the Quicken Loans Arena, where he got to win a title alongside LeBron James and company.
During a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, Griffin revealed how stressful was the whole process of building a title contender team around LeBron James, even if the results of that were visible when the team won the NBA title back in 2016.
“Everything we did was so inorganic and unsustainable and, frankly, not fun. I was miserable,” Griffin told Sports Illustrated’s Jake Fischer. “Literally the moment we won the championship I knew I was gonna leave. There was no way I was gonna stay for any amount of money.”
The executive took some time to discuss about LeBron and the time he spent together with the King in Cleveland. Griffin when further to say that that title affected James’ mindset and now he wonders if LeBron’s the same guy he used to be, hungry to win titles at all cost.
“There wasn’t a lot else for him,” Griffin said. “I don’t think he’s the same animal anymore about winning.”
He also revealed to SI that he privately wept the night the Cavaliers won the title, saying he was so obsessed with winning that he “didn’t love the game anymore.”
Ultimately, Griffin decided to part ways with the Cavs in June 2017 when his contract with the organization expired, one year after they won the title against the Golden State Warriors.
“LeBron is getting all the credit and none of the blame. And that’s not fun for people,” Griffin said of the challenge of working with and playing with James. “They don’t like being part of that world.”
After he left Cleveland he went to work as an analyst for NBA TV for two seasons before the Pelicans signed him to be their GM last April. He and LeBron are in good terms now, but the King will probably have something to say about Griffin’s statement.