LeBron James appeared to be blindsided by Sports Illustrated's profile of former Cavaliers GM David Griffin in which the now general manager of the New Orleans Pelicans seemed to blame James for making his time in Cleveland "miserable". "I was miserable", Griffin told Sports Illustrated.
Griffin also addressed his comment that James wasn't "the same animal anymore" after winning a championship with the Cavaliers in 2016.
Griffin and a person close to James spoke after the story was published, according to ESPN, and Griffin expressed that some context was missing.
James's former teammate with the Cavaliers, Kendrick Perkins, also fired off a tweet in response to what Griffin had to say. Upon returning to Cleveland for a second stint with the franchise in 2014, James signed a one-year deal with a player option for the second year.
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LeBron James was surprised by David Griffin's comments.
James' camp encouraged Griffin to clear up his stance on the record, sources said. If he's healthy come playoff time, we'll see if James still has that winning drive when he and the Lakers face the likes of the Clippers, Warriors and Rockets with the title hanging in the balance. "There was no way I was going to stay for any amount of money".
Griffin left the Cavaliers in June 2017. Maybe Griffin will actually attempt to clarify what he really meant when he told ESPN that he "wept in a broom closet" after the Cavs won the National Basketball Association championship, or that "LeBron is getting all the credit and none of the blame". "And that's not fun for people", he said. "They don't like being part of that world", Griffin told SI.
"There wasn't a lot else for him", Griffin said. But it clearly took LeBron by surprise that the biggest interview Griffin had about the Pelicans since trading Anthony Davis and drafting Zion Williamson would turn into a referendum on his leadership, legacy and immediate future.