David Griffin Rumors
“I’ve loved Kyle ever since we made the trade to get him here,” No. 23 said. “I have no idea how Griff (former general manager David Griffin) was able to pull that off still to this day. He’s just a true professional. There’s not many of us ’03 class guys still around. I feel like we’re just cut from a different cloth …”
Fresh off signing an extension with the Cavaliers in 2014, Kyrie Irving had successfully recruited big-name free agents to Cleveland before LeBron James announced his return. While guesting on the Bill Simmons Podcast, former Cavs GM David Griffin said that Kyrie had gotten commitments from Gordon Hayward and Trevor Ariza.
David Griffin: “The situation in Boston fit what [Kyrie] had grown to be able to do before LeBron had got there. When we sat down with Kyrie and he made the decision to stay with us, he recruited every free agent that we were going to bring in, and successfully so. Everyone was willing to play with him and was excited to play with him. And we were waiting on LeBron to make a decision. Obviously, if LeBron wants to come back, you’re going to get the greatest player of this generation. You’re going to bring LeBron. But Kyrie was really engaged in building a team around him, and successfully recruited [Gordon] Hayward, by way of example, as a free agent. And Trevor Ariza would have wanted to come with us. We had gotten commitments from a lot of guys who were waiting on LeBron to make a decision.”
Following Cleveland’s second-round sweep of the Raptors, former Cavaliers GM David Griffin joined Bill Simmons on The Bill Simmons Podcast to discuss the genius of LeBron James and the relationship between him and ex-teammate Kyrie Irving. At the 46:35-mark of the episode, Simmons asked Griffin about James’ new penchant for circus shots in the NBA Playoffs, citing multiple unorthodox buzzer beaters. That addition to James’ arsenal may have been pulled from Irving’s playbook, Griffin believes.
Bill Simmons: He’s playing against himself and not the other people, and saying ‘Oh, I wonder if I can make this shot. I’ll try this one.’ I never remember him doing this before, do you? David Griffin: It’s funny, bringing this somewhat full circle, this is something I give Kyrie a lot of credit for. Because Kyrie was natively like that. He loved to make left-handed finishes that seemed circus-like that he had no reason to use but he would anyway. He would do it in practices, he and Shump would play one-on-one endlessly after practice, doing things like that. And LeBron sort of got in the routine of doing these weird, one-legged, left-handed sort of things, finish with spin for no reason. I think Kyrie, in a weird sort of way, really made LeBron start to think about ‘You know, there’s more that I’m capable of doing. I don’t have a left-handed runner; I can’t spin the ball off the glass.’ I think Kyrie’s talents and knack for doing things like that challenged LeBron. Bron thought and went ‘I want that,’ and he’s so damn good he can incorporate it into his own game. To me, maybe that’s the best LeBron story. There’s literally nothing you can show him that he can’t do.
Vincent Ellis: Very preliminary, but David Griffin as GM and Jerry Stackhouse and Mike Budenholzer for coach are potential names to look at with the #Pistons.
Adrian Wojnarowski: If you knew that LeBron James was going to come back, would you have waited to hire a coach in 2014? David Griffin (@dg_riff): “Oh, 100 percent. Sure. We didn’t believe for a second LeBron was coming back at that point.”