LeBron James Shrugs off Blake Griffin's NY over LA Comment in TMZ Exclusive

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2017

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James speaks at a news conference after Game 5 of basketball's NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Cavaliers in Oakland, Calif., Monday, June 12, 2017. The Warriors won 129-120 to win the NBA championship. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Ben Margot/Associated Press

Blake Griffin thinks LeBron James is more likely to wind up playing in New York than Los Angeles when he becomes a free agent next summer.

James has no interest in responding to Griffin's opinion.

"I don't even know what you're talking about, shorty," James jokingly told a TMZ Sports reporter before refusing to answer any more questions and driving off in his Porsche.

Griffin made his comments on the View from the Cheap Seats podcast last week.

"I could see him going to New York before L.A.," Griffin said (h/t Aaron Mansfield of Complex.com). "I still think, when you go to the Garden, it's a completely different feeling. The energy there seems like there's just a consistent buzz the entire game… even last year when you go play them, it's still there."

Griffin added, "Honestly, I don't see him coming to L.A. period. Listen, again, I have no idea [laughs]. I think something is brewing with him and his group of guys. I don't know what's going to happen, but I think something's brewing and they're going to try to make that work."

James can become an unrestricted free agent next summer, as can longtime friends Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade. Paul engineered an offseason trade to the Houston Rockets in June to play with James Harden, but he has not made any public commitment beyond 2017-18. Wade might wind up being on the free-agent market sooner than next summer if he and the Chicago Bulls can reach a buyout agreement.

The three finding a way to join Carmelo Anthony in New York seems unlikely, barring each taking a massive discount. The Knicks have Anthony and a few other long-term contracts on their books for next summer that makes carving out enough cap space seemingly infeasible.

Paul and James were also key players at the negotiating table for the latest collective bargaining agreement, which upped the age-36 rule to 38. Players can now sign four- or five-year deals that last until their age 38 season, whereas before they would have been prohibited. 

It would be a surprise to see either James or Paul leave any money on the table given how much that change benefits them.