On Tuesday, Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry became the first player in NBA history to win the league’s MVP by a unanimous vote. Thursday on The Jim Rome Show, Cleveland Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin credited Curry with a historic season but believes that his team’s star, LeBron James, is the league’s Most Valuable Player.
“If ‘V’ is valuable, I just don’t see any way that there’s a player that means more to our league or to his individual team than LeBron does,” Griffin told Rome. “I certainly think the season that Steph has put together is historically good. He’s a player that’s taken his team to an unprecedented record and a championship and he deserves all the accolades he gets. But in terms of value to a league, I think LeBron is the face of this league just as Michael Jordan was.”
Griffin continued about James being a generational talent.
“I think if we’re really talking about who’s carrying a franchise and a league, I think LeBron does that,” Griffin said. “Our record without LeBron on the floor is not terribly good. He’s a guy who transcends every analytic metric you could ever use.”
Griffin also touched on the fact that the 31-year-old James’ drive to get better is another factor that sets his game apart.
“It’s really humbling actually. You’d like to think people in our profession were really driven to get there, and I’d tell you that based on the route I took. I was really driven, but I’m nothing like him,” Griffin said. “There’s a lack of acceptance for mediocrity in everything that he does that is really special, and it drives everybody he’s around. I’m sure Michael had that. I’m sure there were several great players along the way that had that, but he’s somebody that really again, his importance transcends the game itself, and it’s been special to be a part of.”
In January, Cleveland made a choice to replace head coach David Blatt with Tyronn Lue, and the general manager said Lue and James’ working relationship is coming together nicely.
“I think LeBron holds himself to a higher standard than any player I’ve ever seen in terms of his desire to win. He’s a remarkably coachable superstar,” Griffin said. “I don’t think you can be a superstar in our league and not have input into things that happen. He’s somebody who absolutely wants to win above all things, and he understand his role as a team leader, and he also understands he has to be one of the team, and Ty has done an exceptional job of being consistent and making him be that, and at the same time, I think they’ve done an incredible job of leading the troops together.”