Stories of Grant swaying LeBron nothing more than tall tales

Former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant before a game against the Houston Rockets at Quicken Loans Arena.  

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

If what we read is true, former Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant holds the key to LeBron James’ heart.

Or maybe Grant and James have formed pro basketball’s version of the sorta pinkie swear.

Grant was fired last month, three years after all his deals and all his draft picks and all his assets turned into nothing but more of the same.

Obviously, the Cavs still have hope with Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters and others, and almost every last one of them was obtained in a move made by Grant.

But these stories of Grant possessing some sort of influence over what James does next are just silliness.

Somehow, we are told, the underachieving team that’s in Year No. 4 of the post-James era endured its greatest loss when Grant was let go.

Um, OK.

The news broke in an ESPN story Saturday, the same day the Cavs staged a spectacular ceremony to retire Zydrunas Ilgauskas’ jersey — a ceremony that garnered major attention nationally only because James himself would attend.

All of this, of course, was arranged by Grant, if we believe the reports. All of it, we’re told, was a plan hatched by Grant to get LeBron back in the building when LeBron didn’t even have a game to play.



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And some of it may actually be true. An event of that magnitude had to be organized months in advance, months when Grant was still with the team. His role, however, has been way overblown, sources said.

Next, we were led to believe Grant secretly developed a close relationship with James — a bond that could sway James’ next decision, should James decide to opt out of his contract with the Miami Heat at season’s end.

Of course, what these fables failed to say is Grant was Cavs GM when James left in 2010. Grant couldn’t keep James here, yet Grant was suddenly the Cavs’ best chance for James to return?

Um, OK.

We were also told Ilgauskas, the very man whose number was being lifted to the rafters, was Grant’s dangling carrot for James, that James still valued the idea of winning a title for his friend, now a member of the Cavs’ front office. But Ilgauskas’ role with the team has reportedly diminished, and of course, reportedly much to Ilguaskas’ dismay.

Then again, no one actually got Ilgauskas to speak about any of this on the record, or perhaps even off, despite the access afforded to him leading up to, and on the night of, the ceremony.

Still, all of that is beside the point. The bottom line is, if Grant actually did undertake some sort of covert mission to bring back the best player in the game, you’d think it might be something Grant would’ve mentioned to his owner before getting canned. That’s pretty big news.

Problem is, it’s fiction.

Reality tells us that we don’t know what sways a superstar’s decision these days — certainly not the decisions of James, who is likely being honest when he says he doesn’t much think beyond the next game, beyond the next run for a championship.

There is no secret key to a player’s mind, and if there is, Grant certainly does not hold it.

Grant is a good man, a worthy basketball executive who will find another job. But don’t buy these tall tales of how he remains a major influence on what happens next with the Cavs.

LeBron James’ time in Cleveland may be done forever, and Chris Grant’s definitely is, but you can be certain one has absolutely nothing to do with the other.