David Griffin tries to clarify comments about LeBron’s desire to win
Former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin made headlines this week for some remarks that made it seem like he was questioning LeBron James’ hunger to win titles, but the executive says important context was lacking in the way his thoughts were presented.
In a feature for Sports Illustrated that was published this week, Griffin said there “wasn’t a lot else for (LeBron)” in Cleveland after he fulfilled his promise of delivering the city its first NBA title. Griffin tried to explain what he meant in an appearance on ESPN’s “The Jump” Friday afternoon.
David Griffin joined The Jump to clarify his comments on LeBron losing his hunger to win: pic.twitter.com/MZv7eELvw1
— ESPN (@espn) August 2, 2019
“My belief at that time was there’s no way anyone can be born in Akron, Ohio, deliver the first championship in 52 years to Cleveland, Ohio, and be the same human being. It’s not possible,” Griffin said. “My fear at that time was that he wouldn’t have that same animal-like desire to win. What we’ve seen, obviously, is he’s gone to multiple Finals since, so it was an unfounded fear that I had at the time.”
Griffin emphasized that the beliefs he shared with SI were ones he had previously, but some will say he is just trying to save face since the remarks got so much attention. After all, he did say LeBron isn’t “the same animal anymore about winning.” It sounded like Griffin was speaking in the present tense, unless he was misquoted.
LeBron clearly seemed bothered by Griffin’s interview, as that and the criticism he has faced for the way he acted at his son’s AAU game were likely the motivation behind him promising on Thursday that “ether is coming soon!”
ESPN reported on Friday that Griffin reached out to LeBron to express that context was missing in the SI article, and LeBron’s camp encouraged him to clear up his stance on the record.