LeBron James throws support behind Cavs GM David Griffin
LeBron James without a doubt wields an unprecedented amount of power for a player within the Cleveland Cavaliers organization. That is why Cavs general manager David Griffin has to be happy the superstar is at loss over how the organization hasn’t extended his contract.
Multiple sources have told ESPN that Griffin is operating under the last year of his contract with the Cavaliers in lieu of the parties’ inability to to hammer out an extension. James appears willing to exert his considerable influence in order to get a deal done.
“It makes no sense why he shouldn’t get an extension,” James told ESPN. “He’s pulled every move — he’s tried to make every move happen — to better this team to be able to compete for a championship. So we wouldn’t be in this position, obviously, without him and without the guys that are here — from the coaching staff to the players to Griff. He’s been a big piece of it.”
Interestingly, James earlier this season put the Cavaliers front office on blast over his unhappiness with the roster.
The tirade spawned a midseason controversy, which included a sit-down with Cavs brass and a feud with Charles Barkley. James later backtracked on his criticism, but the damage arguably had already been done.
James is often referred to as the de facto player-coach-general manager in essence if not in name, something he admits be having an impact on Griffin’s contract status.
“Obviously they always want to bring my name into it and say that obviously, it’s easier because guys want to be here because I’m here,” James said. “But at the end of the day, he still has to press the right buttons…”
James’ endorsement of Griffin obviously carries a tremendous amount of weight, something he has wielded in the past to get things done. Whether it is sufficient to get the general manager an arguably deserved extension, however, may be another story.
Either way, one thing is certain: Had James went the other way on Griffin — publicly or privately — it mght be an entirely different story. Just ask David Blatt.