It’s no secret that Cavaliers GM David Griffin was LeBron James’ right-hand man, as LBJ got whatever he wanted on the personnel side.
James was kind of an assistant GM of sorts, which is something you don’t see on any other NBA team right now. Maybe that’s why Cavs owner Dan Gilbert and the rest of ownership decided to move on from Griffin. It was announced on Monday that the Cavs general manager’s contract will run out at the end of the month, and the team will not be renewing it, so the two are partying ways. This has sparked rumors that candidates such as Chauncey Billups could emerge to fill the soon-to-be-open GM position.
And LeBron is not happy about it, not at all. He’s reportedly unhappy that the team didn’t consult with him before letting Griffin go, and is also “concerned” about the future of the team.
Most players, after issuing those thoughts through his camp, would stop there. But James wasn’t done. He took to Twitter late Monday night and threw some serious shade at the Cavs owner in doing so.
Gilbert probably wasn’t thrilled when he saw this subtweet.
In case you didn’t know, “no one” was likely a reference to Gilbert and the Cavs ownership. It was no secret that the Cavs initially brought in Griffin to appease James and lure him back to Cleveland, so he could get his way and bring in who he wanted to play alongside.
But now what we’re seeing is a power struggle. James has only one year left on his deal until he can opt out, and with the rumors swirling that he’s interested in leaving for one of the LA teams in 2018, the Cavs may be looking toward the future, and preparing for life without him.
James really has no reason to be upset about the team not bringing Griffin back, because it’s supposed to be left up to the organization, and not open to his input. Look across all major sports — NFL, MLB, soccer, NBA, NHL — and you’ll find that there are probably less than five organizations (if that) that allow feedback from players as far as personnel moves go. The Cavs gave James that flexibility because he was committed to them long-term. But now, with his future uncertain, they’re preparing to build a framework that might not include him.
And James is not happy about it—that much is clear.