The immense expectations and scrutiny on LeBron James inevitably transfer across to whatever team he happens to be playing for.
Whether its the Cavs, Heat, Lakers, Team USA, Team LeBron, or NBA2K’s MyTeam, having LeBron James on your team means that you’re expected to win.
Former Cavaliers GM David Griffin knows all about the pressure, and according to Griffin, the only way to get rid of the pressure is to win titles.
“It’s not just the pressure with LeBron, it’s that the only mark of success each year was winning a championship,” Griffin told Sports Illustrated.
Nothing short of a league title is every good enough for a LeBron James-led team.
“This wasn’t about being elite. This wasn’t about winning a round in the playoffs. LeBron’s presence means you must win championships.”
The Cavs made the NBA Finals four years in a row with James on board, but were only able to go all the way once in 2016.
LeBron James was obviously the captain steering the ship to victory, as we’ve all seen that without him, the Cavs boat rapidly sunk to the bottom of the East.
“It was like taking care of the legacy of Babe Ruth,” Griffin said. “It was something we felt responsible for.
This is the greatest player of his generation, and if you’re not delivering championships you’re failing.”
Griffin took this responsibility seriously and got to work building talent like Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love – guys that complimented what LeBron wanted.
It has become a running joke that LeBron impacts front office decisions, but Griffin said that wasn’t happening in Cleveland.
“I feel really bad for LeBron that people talk as much as they do. It’s just an asinine assertion that he was a shadow GM.
LeBron was one of the many people on the team who we talked to, it just so happens he’s a basketball savant.
You wouldn’t be doing your job if you didn’t talk to him about the pieces you might want to bring to the franchise.”
To translate what Griffin’s saying: the Lakers better get their butt into gear and start building something around LeBron, because fans, media and other players expect his teams to produce success.
If Lakers GM Rob Pelinka can’t get the job done, I know of one former GM that has a proven track record of working with LeBron…
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