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Why Does It Feel Like the Cavaliers Are Trying to Make LeBron James Mad?

Submitted by on June 20, 2017 – 4:54 pmNo Comment

Over the course of the last few years, the perception in NBA circles has been that LeBron James is in charge of calling all of the shots for the Cleveland Cavaliers. When the team has struggled, LeBron has used social media and the regular media to let the organization know that he’s not happy with the way things are going. They, in turn, have gone out and made trades and signed free agents in an effort to appease LeBron. Or at least, that’s what people think they have done.

But on Monday, the Cavaliers made a pretty stunning move—and it definitely wasn’t something that received LeBron’s blessing. According to reports, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert decided that he didn’t want to give a contract extension to David Griffin, the general manager of the Cavaliers and the architect of the roster that won the 2016 NBA Finals. So rather than give him one, Gilbert decided to part ways with Griffin and allowed him to leave the team, even though it doesn’t seem like the Cavaliers have a plan in place as far as replacing him goes.

LeBron responded to the news about Griffin’s departure by sending a not-so-subtle shot in Gilbert’s direction. He jumped on Twitter late Monday night and thanked Griffin for all that he did for the Cavaliers while writing, “If no one appreciated you Griff I did, and hopefully all the people of Cleveland! Thanks for what u did for the team for 3 yrs! We got us 1.”

And NBA fans responded to LeBron’s tweet by collectively saying, “Hmmmm…?” Reason being, LeBron has two years left on his current contract, but he can opt out of it next summer and become an unrestricted free agent. And that’s important because, while the idea of LeBron leaving Cleveland again seems insane, this Griffin news almost makes it seem like the Cavaliers are asking LeBron to leave. They don’t necessarily need his blessing to make major moves. But LeBron publicly vouched for Griffin last season and said that he wanted to see him back. So Gilbert going out of his way to get rid of Griffin just a few months later makes it look like the Cavaliers are trying to make LeBron mad.

If nothing else, the Cavaliers have created controversy where there really shouldn’t be any. If they waited until Griffin’s contract expired at the end of June and then decided to part ways with him, that would have been one thing. But on Monday, Griffin was reportedly playing an instrumental role in the organization and trying to work out trades for Paul George and Jimmy Butler. So for him to be out the door just hours later? It all seems suspicious.

If LeBron is mad, he has every right to be. Gilbert is once again proving that he doesn’t always seem to have the Cavaliers’ best intentions at heart when he makes decisions that affect the whole team.

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