On Monday, the Cleveland Cavaliers and general manager David Griffin parted ways, which shocked the entire NBA community.
After extensive talks with owner Dan Gilbert, Griffin simply had a different vision regarding the future of the team. As a result, the two decided to go their separate ways in what seemed like a decisive, yet cordial divorce.
In a statement, Griffin said he was thankful for the opportunity that Gilbert gave him, saying, "I am extremely excited for my next challenge in the NBA, however Dan and I know now that [the Cavs] are a team built on largely on the concept of fit and are now at the point where the fit is not right for us to continue with one another.”
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Gilbert also showed his appreciation for Griffin, saying, “On behalf of the entire organization, I would like to thank Griff for his leadership and many contributions during his time here, including most recently, his role in the franchise's first NBA Championship.”
Griffin was the general manager for the past three seasons. In that span, Cleveland made it to the NBA Finals in all three opportunities, winning it all two years ago. Gilbert has owned the team for the last 12-plus years.
Perhaps the most shocking element of the entire situation is that it was a surprise to basically everyone within the organization. As Dave McMenamin and Brian Windhorst of ESPN reported, Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue was not informed by Gilbert before the talks with Griffin escalated to a point of no return.
Additionally, superstar LeBron James was not consulted in any way and found out after, like the rest of us, according to McMenamin and Windhorst’s sources.
On Monday night, James took to Twitter to thank the former GM for all he did:
Interestingly, in April, LeBron lobbied for Griffin to receive an extension, saying he deserved a new deal due to his prominent role in the franchise’s success.
"It makes no sense why he shouldn't get an extension," James told ESPN. "He's pulled every move -- he's tried to make every move happen -- to better this team to be able to compete for a championship. So we wouldn't be in this position, obviously, without him and without the guys that are here -- from the coaching staff to the players to Griff. He's been a big piece of it.”
In the end, James didn’t have any say in the process, and since he’s slated to become a free agent next offseason, it remains to be seen whether or not this decision will end up making some kind of impact on whether or not he stays in Cleveland.