Former Cavs GM David Griffin says building around LeBron James was ‘miserable’ and he knew he would leave as soon as they won the 2016 championship

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New Orleans Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin said that his time as general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers was once filled with excitement, but took a drastic turn when LeBron James joined the team.

Griffin became the team’s GM in February 2014 and James rejoined the team that July.

In a story with Sports Illustrated on Thursday, Griffin spoke about his experience leading a team centered around James. Having James on the team was at one time a celebrated thought, but after the pressure set in, Griffin said it was overwhelming.

“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.”

Season after season, anything less than a championship wasn’t good enough. Griffin needed to build a championship-caliber team around James that required a hefty cap sheet that resulted in the team losing $40 million.

“Everything we did was so inorganic and unsustainable and, frankly, not fun. I was miserable,” Griffin said. “Literally the moment we won the championship I knew I was gonna leave. There was no way I was gonna stay for any amount of money.”


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