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David Griffin Admits He Was ‘Miserable’ Trying to Make Cavs Contenders Around LeBron James
- Updated: August 1, 2019
“Everything we did was so inorganic and unsustainable and, frankly, not fun,” Griffin said. “I was miserable. 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.”
Griffin became the Cavs’ GM on February of 2014, a few months before James, who had spent the four previous seasons with the Miami Heat, publicly announced that he was coming back to the team that drafted him.
Fischer added that though James’ return to the Cavaliers was reason to be joyful, Griffin celebrated only briefly before he “collapsed on his office floor in tears after James’ letter ran on SI.com, overwhelmed by the sudden pressure to deliver The King’s coveted ring.”
“The reason is LeBron is getting all the credit and none of the blame,” Griffin explained. “And that’s not fun for people. They don’t like being part of that world.”
Essentially, Griffin had found the task to build a championship team around James to be a daunting one, especially since the three-time Finals MVP would hold the Cavs hostage with short-year contracts.
This was James’ way of ensuring that the front office would build a championship contender around him every year.
On June 2017, Cavs majority owner Dan Gilbert did not renew Griffin’s contract, ending the latter’s tenure as general manager just a few weeks after the team appeared in a third straight NBA Finals.
Griffin eventually found his way to the New Orleans Pelicans’ front office and is now trying to build a team around talented rookie Zion Williamson, a player not unlike James who has entered the league with similarly high expectations.