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#pounditFriday, February 26, 2021

David Griffin: LeBron James makes you an instant Finals contender

LeBron James

David Griffin has seen first-hand the type of impact LeBron James can have on a franchise, and the New Orleans Pelicans executive feels there is no other player in the NBA who can do what King James does.

Griffin, who was the general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers when LeBron led the team to an NBA title, told the Ringer this week that James is the only player in the NBA who makes a team a championship contender by himself.

“I’ve never really been able to say unequivocally ‘go flip the switch,’” Griffin said. “LeBron is the only player in the NBA whose presence alone makes you a Finals contender. So when LeBron came back to Cleveland, it was time to rock and roll.”

You can understand why Griffin would feel that way, though it is not entirely accurate. Just look at the Los Angeles Lakers, who didn’t even make the playoffs in LeBron’s first season with the team. It wasn’t until the Lakers paired Anthony Davis with LeBron that they were able to win a title.

NBA stars need help to win, and LeBron is no exception. He certainly puts any team in the Finals conversation, but there’s a reason he has reached the Finals 10 times and won four championships. The supporting cast simply wasn’t good enough more than half the time he reached the Finals.

Griffin made headlines over a year ago when he appeared to question LeBron’s desire to win, so perhaps he is simply making up for that.

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