LeBron James reacts to Blake Griffin trade, cites loyalty double standard
LeBron James not surprisingly has been asked about how the Los Angeles Clippers traded away longtime franchise cornerstone Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons.
The deal that shipped Griffin east on Monday evidently occurred while James was napping. But the Cleveland Cavaliers superstar on Tuesday weighed in on the arguably stunning developments while alluding to the fact Griffin had just signed a five-year, $171 million last summer.
“He spent his last nine years there,” James said, via Cleveland.com. “He signed a multi-year deal there this summer, so that’s unfortunate. But that’s the business side of it. It’s both sides. It works both sides, though. It’s the business.”
Interestingly, the Cavs will play in Detroit on Tuesday night, although Griffin is not expected to play.
James went on to address the perceived double standard that occurs involving teams and players when it comes to the notion of loyalty.
“When a player gets traded, it’s they was doing what’s best for the franchise,” he said. “But when a player decides to leave, it’s, ‘He’s not loyal. He’s a snake. He’s not committed.’ It’s just, that’s the narrative of how it goes. So I’m definitely (aware). I know that firsthand.”
James of course left both the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat during his career and has ever had to deal with being dealt. And it’s certainly a distinct possibility he could break Cleveland’s heart once again this coming summer.
That said, James does make an interesting point about loyalty being a two-way street in the league. It will be interesting to see how James defines loyalty — and how much it comes into play — when he determines his NBA future following this season.
Even more interesting? To what extent the Griffin trade — which ultimately may be part of an effort that allows the Clippers to make a run at James this coming offseason — could impact LeBron’s decision.