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What did Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James think of the Blake Griffin trade?
“I just woke up from a nap when I saw the news,” James told reporters at shootaround Tuesday. “Little bit of shock when I first saw it.”
Griffin was traded from the Los Angeles Clippers (along with forwards Willie Reed and Brice Johnson) to the Detroit Pistons on Monday. In return, the Clippers received key Pistons parts such as forward Tobias Harris and guard Avery Bradley, as well as center Boban Marjanovic and some draft picks.
The Cavs (29-19) defeated the Pistons in Cleveland on Sunday. They play the Pistons (22-26) again Tuesday in Detroit. The trade took place during the one day in between.
So it’s not a big surprise James was like most of the rest of us — and caught off guard.
“But I know the business,” James said. “As unfortunate as it looks, I know the business.”
Wait a minute. Unfortunate? Why unfortunate?
“Because he spent his last nine years (with the Clippers),” James said of Griffin. “He signed a multi-year deal there this summer. … When a player gets traded, they decide they were doing what’s best for the franchise. But when a player decides to leave, it’s (because) he’s not loyal, he’s a snake, he’s not committed. That’s the narrative.”
Griffin remains among the game’s best power forwards and the Clippers’ decision to trade him ended the once-promising Lob City era that also included point guard Chris Paul and center DeAndre Jordan.
Paul was traded to the Rockets in the offseason, and while Jordan is still with the Clippers, is headlining rumors as the Feb. 8 trade deadline approaches.
“That’s the league,” James told reporters, shrugging. “I mean, that’s how it goes. It’s no different from being in Miami and grabbing headlines for four years, and it changes. … That’s just how it goes in professional sports at times, unless you’re the San Antonio Spurs or New England Patriots.”