With just a few days left until the 2017 NBA Draft, and with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the middle of multiple blockbuster trade rumors, owner Dan Gilbert announced Monday that the team has decided to part ways with general manager David Griffin. According to ESPN, LeBron James was not consulted on the decision, and James publicly supported Griffin after the news broke.
Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe reacted to the Cavs' decision on Tuesday's episode of "Undisputed," and Sharpe said that Griffin's exit ensures LeBron James will leave Cleveland once again.
LeBron James responded to the news on Twitter
The LeBron James era in Cleveland will soon be over
“It’s over, Skip. LeBron is leaving Cleveland in 2018.
"The two most powerful people in that organization are Dan Gilbert and LeBron James. That [was] was directed at Dan Gilbert. ‘I appreciate you if no one else did. We got us one.’
"Now, we know this, Skip: He’s gone out of his way -- he has never addressed, since his return in three years, he’s never addressed his owner by name. He only refers to [Gilbert] as ‘the owner.’
"Now, my thing is where this hurts the Cavaliers. They’re trying to make a move, maybe trying to get a Paul George, maybe trying to get a Jimmy Butler. Who do they call?”
Ken BlazeKen Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Why would Paul George or Jimmy Butler want to stay in Cleveland now?
“Paul’s like ‘hold on, wait a minute.’ Jimmy’s like ‘hold on, wait a minute.’ Why am I going to come to Cleveland and LeBron’s going to bounce? I’m coming to play with LeBron. I’m coming to play with LeBron for a long period of time. If I’m only going to go there for a one-year deal, why would I want to go there? Why not go ahead and make a move and go where I originally wanted to go to begin with?’
"Now what I can see happening, Skip … let’s just say for the sake of argument Paul George says, ‘Yeah, I’ll come there. I like the way you play this thing, LeBron. What do you say we go up to L.A. with the Lakers?’
"Because it’s being reported that Savannah -- now you know what LeBron thinks of Savannah -- she would really prefer to live in L.A. as opposed to Cleveland.
"It’s over, Skip. He’s leaving.”
Greg M. CooperGreg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
There's no chance LeBron James was blindsided by this
“I hear everything you just said, and it’s obvious that David Griffin did not deserve to be fired. He did a really good job of putting people around LeBron James.
"But -- and this is a big but -- I have a really hard time believing that LeBron James had zero to do with David Griffin’s firing. I just have a hard time believing that the most powerful athlete in all of sports, the face -- not only of the Cleveland Cavaliers, but the face of the NBA -- the quote unquote ‘best player on the planet’… and you’re telling me that he had absolutely zero to do, that he is being treated like nothing but an employee of the Cavaliers? He was completely in the dark? That he found out just as we all found out, off the announcement yesterday. ‘Oh, David Griffin’s being fired! I had no idea!,’ say sources close to LeBron."
Ken BlazeKen Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Someone had to pay for the Cavs' failure this year
“I said when we were in Cleveland that if the Cavs go ahead and get swept, or they lose in five, somebody’s going to have to pay for this. And I don’t know if the owner’s going to make them pay, or the ‘co-owner,’ LeBron James, is going to make somebody be the scapegoat.
"But I predicted it was going to be David Griffin, and it was. Again, didn’t deserve to be fired, but it’s like … somebody has to be quote unquote ‘sacrificed,’ because it went so wrong, so quickly.”
Kyle TeradaKyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
LeBron is realizing why he left Cleveland the first time
“Let’s be real, Skip. We’ve seen people be married, they get a divorce, and they get re-married again. That doesn’t normally work, because then you start to realize why the hell you got divorced in the first place.
"LeBron is coming to the realization ‘there’s a reason I walked away from you, Dan Gilbert, and you made it crystal clear this time around why I’m going to do it again.’
… I always thought there was two guys on that team that were untouchable: LeBron and Kyrie Irving. David Griffin, being reported, David Griffin said ‘yes, LeBron and Kyrie are untouchable.’ Now, they might be potentially fielding offers for Kyrie. LeBron might hit them with the deuces in 2017.”