LeBron James ‘Shocked’ by How David Griffin Described Him in Sports Illustrated


New Orleans Pelicans executive vice president David Griffin clarified comments he made about the challenges of building a title contender around LeBron James during their three seasons in Cleveland together, saying Friday that he maintains a "positive relationship" with James.

Griffin told Fischer he was "miserable" trying to construct championship rosters in Cleveland and it was "not fun".

Griffin also addressed his comment that James wasn't "the same animal anymore" after winning a championship with the Cavaliers in 2016.

James appeared to respond to Griffin on Twitter shortly after Sports Illustrated's story was published.

In that piece, Griffin also opened up about the tension he felt as he built the Cavaliers into champions after James' return to the team in 2014. James was playing with Cleveland while Griffin was in the front office.

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A source familiar with Griffin's thinking said the Pelicans exec's intention was to refer to the media machine surrounding James and simply acknowledge a byproduct of his huge celebrity, rather than blame James for creating the atmosphere. I was miserable. Literally the moment we won the championship I knew I was gonna leave.

Griffin went on to comment on James' motivations, speculating that his drive isn't the same as it was before winning a title in Cleveland, his home state.

"There wasn't a lot else for him", Griffin said. "There was no way I was going to stay for any amount of money".

"The reason is LeBron is getting all the credit and none of the blame. And that's not fun for people", Griffin said. "They don't like being part of that world". Building a competitive roster around James, one of (if not the) greatest player in National Basketball Association history, is only hard if the owner isn't making the resources available. It was everything that came with a team led by LeBron James. He added, "The throne has been played with too much and I ain't for horseplay".