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David Griffin on LeBron-as-GM myth: “That’s not how he works”

Dunk Wire logo Dunk Wire 2/12/2019 Chris Ross
a man holding a basketball: Getty © Getty Getty

David Griffin knows LeBron James better than most. Griffin, the former GM of the Cleveland Cavaliers, was instrumental in helping LeBron deliver a championship to the city of Cleveland and is known as one of LeBron's favorite front office executives of his career.

Griffin's successful working relationship with James, and LeBron's vocal support of Griffin, goes against common perception. Since LeBron entered the league in 2003 there has been a perception he is the de facto general manager of whatever organization he's playing for at the time. Griffin tried to dispel the LeBron-as-GM myth over the weekend.

While making an appearance on ESPN LA's The Sedano Show on Friday, Griffin addressed how he approached personnel decisions with LeBron during his time in Cleveland:

He didn't try to have input with personnel with us…I talked to LeBron, I talked to Kevin Love, I talked to Kyrie about a lot of the pieces that we were going to be bringing in.

LeBron's a basketball savant, so I would talk to him about players often, and his understanding of what the team needs is as good as anyone you could ever get input from so I would certainly seek it out. LeBron's not going to anybody's office and banging the door down saying 'I want, I need,' that's not how he works, and as long as you have the kind of direct relationship with him where he respects you enough to sit there and have conversation with you you get a great deal out of it. You just can't need to go through an intermediary because that's when things get confusing.

The most fascinating piece of Griffin's snippet is the end.

Griffin's assertion about things getting confusing once an intermediary is involved between LeBron and the front office is interesting considering that Rich Paul has seemingly done most of the communication with the Lakers' front office so far during LeBron's time in Los Angeles. Does LeBron not fully trust or respect Rob Pelinka and Magic Johnson's front office track record?

After whiffing on Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, and Anthony Davis trades, it's a fair question to ask.

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