LeBron James Thanks David Griffin in Tweet, Seemingly Takes Shot at Cavaliers

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJune 20, 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

The Cleveland Cavaliers announced Monday they mutually agreed not to extend general manager David Griffin's contract, prompting a response from superstar LeBron James:

LeBron James @KingJames

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🏆

James acknowledged the championship he strived for when he returned to Cleveland after his stint with the Miami Heat and expressed his appreciation for the general manager's role in building a team that reached three straight NBA Finals.

Griffin also discussed the Cavaliers' recent success in his statement following Monday's news, although—unlike James—he mentioned his appreciation for team owner Dan Gilbert, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com:

Dave McMenamin @mcten

Statement from David Griffin: https://t.co/2a7aJdIUVH

McMenamin reported the general manager removed himself from consideration for keeping his job "when it became clear his vision" didn't sync with Gilbert's.

It should come as little surprise James offered his support for Griffin in the aftermath. He suggested the general manager should receive an extension back in April, per McMenamin:

It makes no sense why he shouldn't get an extension. 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.

Anything that happens within the Cleveland organization is going to be framed around James' reaction considering he's the team's best player and one of the greatest players in NBA history. There is also his future to consider since he has a player option in 2018.

Bleacher Report's Howard Beck said James was "disappointed" Griffin was out and "concerned" with what it means going forward for the team. Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com reported Gilbert didn't consult James about the decision, while Ryen Russillo of ESPN said the King's camp was surprised by the move.

According to David Aldridge of NBA.com, James is "keeping [an] open mind" regarding the Cavaliers' future steps but is "very serious about structure."

Griffin was just the first shoe to drop in an offseason sure to feature a number of intriguing moves and rumors regarding the three-time defending Eastern Conference champions after a convincing NBA Finals loss to the Golden State Warriors.

Aldridge noted assistant general manager Trent Redden is also out and called it a surprise and "total house cleaning."

On the player front, Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio said the team is exploring the idea of trading Kevin Love. Amico also noted a handful of teams have reached out about Kyrie Irving's availability, a player Griffin was unwilling to trade. However, "it's unclear where owner Dan Gilbert stands" with the point guard's future, Amico wrote.

As for James, it is too early to speculate whether the front office's failure to reach an agreement with Griffin will impact his eventual decision to stay with the team, but it is clear he appreciated the general manager.


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