Griffin left the Cavaliers in June 2017 after three seasons as Cleveland's general manager.

By Michael Shapiro
August 01, 2019

Former Cavaliers general manager and current Pelicans vice president of basketball operations David Griffin was integral in building the Cavaliers' 2016 championship team, but he didn't exactly enjoy himself during his three-year run leading Cleveland's front office.

“Everything we did was so inorganic and unsustainable and, frankly, not fun. I was miserable,” Griffin told Sports Illustrated's Jake Fischer. “Literally the moment we won the championship I knew I was gonna leave. There was no way I was gonna stay for any amount of money.”

Griffin joined the Cavaliers in 2010 and was promoted to general manager in May 2014. LeBron James announced he was returning to Cleveland two months later, initiating a rapid rebuild. The decision reportedly filled Griffin with anxiety. 

"Griffin celebrated at first, then collapsed on his office floor in tears after James’ letter ran on SI.com, overwhelmed by the sudden pressure to deliver The King’s coveted ring," Fischer wrote.

Cleveland reached three-straight Finals with Griffin, losing to the Warriors in 2015 and 2017 and defeating Golden State in the 2016 Finals. Griffin left the Cavaliers in June 2017 after his contract expired.

Griffin worked as an analyst for NBA TV for two seasons after leaving Cleveland. He was hired as the Pelicans' general manager in April. 

 

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