Pelican's general manager David Griffin is one of the NBA's toasts these days. He will be remembered as the type who reversed the fate of this franchise at the end of the Anthony Davis era by designing Zion Williamson and turning Davis over for a package of useful players and valuable design goods, and hopefully pitching the pelicans for a short time again build up. The Pelicans evolved from lost, irrelevant, and bitter under Dell Demps to sudden potential under Griffin within weeks.
Griffin is on the rise. Encouraged by this success and professional recognition, Griffin made an excitingly open and strangely self-glaring profile with Sports Illustrated, released on Thursday, about his time as General Manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers and how he came to be in the position he is today. The sharpest part of it is the Cleveland stuff: According to Griffin, the pressure to build a championship candidate for LeBron James made him miserable as he challenged some important notions about the right way to run a basketball operation ,
] The profile largely revolves around the word "trial", but the essence is: While LeBron James was in Cleveland and while completing short-term contracts with early outs, Griffin's mandate as a hiring manager was entirely result-oriented. The task was to equip LeBron with teammates of championship caliber year after year, otherwise he would lose LeBron. There would be no long-term planning or steady, sustainable growth. Griffin says he cried the day stress broke when LeBron announced his return to Cleveland and cried with misery the night they won the title. In between, his enthusiasm for basketball dried up and died:
"Everything we did was so inorganic and untenable, and frankly not funny. I was miserable, "says Griffin. "The moment we won the championship, I knew I would leave. By no means would I stay for any amount of money. "
According to Griffin, part of the challenge was to create a championship list for LeBron – which, as should be noted, was not a particularly difficult task. The eight consecutive years in which LeBron reached the final make everyone in orbit the world's best basketball player are happy. You see, LeBron is never accused of something going wrong. This is news for anyone who has heard or read ten words spoken or written by Skip Bayless in the last decade:
"The reason for this is that LeBron gets everything credit and not guilt. And that does not make people happy, "says Griffin. "They do not like being part of this world."
There's more to goodness here about Griffin's understanding of LeBron's move to Los Angeles and how Griffin feels about the Pelicans, and how rebuilding in New Orleans is better suited to the nurturing instincts of a General Manager dealing with fertility problems the family is concerned. The result is working with LeBron, and it has destroyed Griffin's love of sports, and he'll do things differently in New Orleans. All this inevitably caught on to LeBron, which would be the case even if he himself was not exceptionally media conscious compared to professional athletes. LeBron's camp was reportedly "shocked" by Griffin's comments – here's the best part of an ESPN report on the whole:
Griffin and a person near James spoke after the SI story was published, sources said ESPN with, and Griffin said that was missing behind his comments a connection. James & # 39; Lager encouraged Griffin, according to sources, to clarify his position on the file.
Not a word about whether LeBron Griffin dangled from an ankle window on the ninth floor when this "encouragement" was communicated. However, Griffin is also said to have said that the testimony that LeBron was to receive the entire loan was an indictment of the media and was not meant to criticize the man himself. Perhaps all this tracing Griffin back from the back and forth that his statements seemed to have provoked saves:
I have no problem believing that I am a General Manager, Functionally working for him The best player on the team is extremely frustrating and stressful, especially if this player is LeBron James. On the other hand, it's a bit lavish to hear an NBA executive complaining about how unnatural and unhealthy it is to try every year to win a championship . And with a frightening third hand that has just come out of my chest [oh God] buddy, you had the best player in the world on your team and won a title! That's nothing to cry about.