David Griffin thinks LeBron James isn’t ‘the same animal anymore about winning’ thanks to 2016 title
At the ripe age of 34, it’s amazing to think that Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James still remains one of the best players in the game today. However, if you were to ask current New Orleans Pelicans vice president of basketball operations David Griffin — a man who was a firsthand witness to LeBron’s dominance during their time together with the Cleveland Cavaliers — he believes James no longer possesses the same desire to win as he did a few years ago.
To be specific, the former Cavs general manager believes that after leading Cleveland to a historic title run in 2016, LeBron hasn’t been quite the same:
“There wasn’t a lot else for him,” Griffin says, via SI’s Jake Fischer. “I don’t think he’s the same animal anymore about winning.”
What LeBron and the Cavs achieved in that fateful year — to come from 3-1 down in the NBA Finals against the defending champions and heavily favored Golden State Warriors — was absolutely legendary. James secured his third NBA title in style and finally won that elusive championship for Cleveland, and Griffin believes this has actually had an adverse effect on LeBron’s competitive spirit.
There are some around the NBA who believe James’ priorities are now centered on playing long enough to be able to team up with his son, Bronny, as well as owning a team in the future.
This is not something the Lakers faithful wants to hear right now, but to be fair, Griffin could be considered an authority on James. The upcoming season should be a great indication of how truthful Griffin’s statement here happens to be. For the Lakers, though, they will be hoping that LeBron is able to prove his former employer wrong.