David Griffin Rumors
The running joke about the Cleveland Cavaliers is that when he’s not humiliating opponents with chase-down blocks, setting up his teammates with those sweet-and-smooth-as-cheesecake passes and continuing to defy age with those gravity-defying dunks, LeBron James is also running basketball operations for the franchise. GM LeBron, as he is known to fans on social media and elsewhere, calls the plays and calls the shots – a characterization that should offend David Griffin, the man who is actually paid to do the job and has spent the past three years aggressively making the decisions to ensure that James is always positioned to win championships. “I take offense to it on [James’] behalf at times,” Griffin told The Vertical. “He doesn’t like that image. I don’t think he wants that image. He wants to lead his troops. He wants to be a player. He wants to lead the guys from within. He never tried to do any more than that. I think for him, it’s almost an unfair characterization of him, that he’s some kind of overlord. That’s not at all what he does.”
Frye referred to Griffin as “a magician” for his ability to always find the right complementary pieces, emphasizing the latest deal for Korver, a shooter who should benefit considerably from the open looks James and Irving tend to provide. James has been making his teammates better since he entered the league but has evolved into something much more in Year 14. “I call LeBron ‘Cheat Code’ at this point,” Griffin told The Vertical, with a laugh, “and the reason is, I know we’ll get almost all of a player’s strengths and really diminish a lot of his weaknesses, and it’s really [because of LeBron’s] presence for the most part. “I’ve said this several times since, but you’re basically charged with the legacy of Babe Ruth, and it’s our responsibility to allow that legacy to grow and evolve,” Griffin told The Vertical. “So it’s almost like a sacred trust that the kid gives you. He’s so good, in his own right, by himself, that he sort of mandates you have to be a title contender just by his presence alone … and if you don’t capitalize on the years he has left, then shame on us.”
LeBron James continued to push Cavs general manager David Griffin after he traded for Kyle Korver, publicly calling for not only a veteran point guard but another big man. Griffin said Friday he was “grateful” for James’ nudging, even if he doesn’t entirely agree with all of his superstar’s opinions. “I appreciate the fact that he’s really trying to keep us moving in the right direction,” Griffin said Friday, hours before the Cavs played the Sacramento Kings.
But Griffin changed his tune a little Friday when he said “it really doesn’t even have to be a point guard, it’s just we need playmaking.” “It’s something where we’re all pretty keenly aware that it would help take some burden off of Kyrie and LeBron as our primary playmaker, so if we could get somebody else that could do it – and it really doesn’t even have to be a point guard, it’s just we need playmaking,” Griffin said. “So again, the hope is that Kyle gives us the opportunity to create some offense another way, and make us less dependent on those two play creators.”
Griffin also chided James for his calling for another big. “I think his comment about needing a big, I’m not necessarily sure we’re on that page, especially from the coaching staff’s standpoint,” Griffin said. “Ironically, because we like to play small with LeBron at the four so much. That may mean he doesn’t like playing four so much, but we’re awfully good when we play that way.”
“I think it could be either (trade deadline or buyout season),” Griffin said. “It’s very difficult right now to make trades – and this is what made the Atlanta thing so interesting – (is that) there’s so many teams that are still in it in both conferences in terms of those final playoff spots, that they’re really aren’t teams that identify themselves as sellers right now. And the teams that are identified as sellers probably didn’t have what fit us real well, so I think there are far fewer opportunities right now to make trades than there have been in the past for our team, just in terms of fit. So hopefully that picture clears itself up a little bit by trade deadline.”