LeBron James set off a media firestorm earlier this week following a loss to the undermanned Pelicans, reiterating in no uncertain terms his belief that the Cavs need another play-maker if they plan on defending their title this spring. LeBron’s expletive-laced tirade directed at the organization’s front office has dominated the news cycle in recent days and spurred all sorts of speculation about who Cleveland might targeting in a potential trade deadline acquisition.
Not surprisingly, it also ruffled a lot of feathers around the organization. The four-time MVP tried to walk back that criticism on Twitter the next day (not without a touch of his trademark passive-aggressiveness), but that didn’t stop Cavs’ GM David Griffin from calling out his franchise star’s questionable antics. Via Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:
Griffin said he hadn’t spoken to majority owner Dan Gilbert about James’ comments, but the team’s executives were clearly irked. “It certainly wasn’t appropriate from a teammate perspective,” Griffin said.
Griffin said he doesn’t think James said outright that the organization was not committed to winning a title, but: “Anyone insinuating that this organization is about anything other than that would deeply upset me because ownership has invested in this at an absolutely historic level.”
It doesn’t appear that the Cavs will fine or suspend James for his comments, as head coach Tyronn Lue told reporters that the matter would instead be handled internally. Still, it was indication that LeBron apparently does not have carte blanche to do or say whatever he wants with complete impunity.