LeBron James knows a thing or two about loyalty.
He was poised to save Ohio, the Cleveland native who came back home to rid the city of its 50 years without a sports championship. But that loyalty was questioned when he decided to take his talents to South Beach. And now that he’s returned to his city—and won a championship— he’s talking about the hypocrisy of loyalty.
Monday night news broke that Blake Griffin would be traded to the Detroit Pistons and the media nor the fans had anything to say negatively about the former Clipper. King James says that there’s a double standard about loyalty when it comes to which side decides its time to cut ties— the player or the team.
“When a player gets traded, it’s [the team] was doing what’s best for the franchise. But when a player decides to leave, it’s, ‘He’s not loyal. He’s a snake. He’s not committed.’ It’s just, that’s the narrative of how it goes. So I’m definitely [aware]. I know that firsthand,” James told Cleveland.com.
Now, Griffin is learning a thing or two about loyalty. Just this past offseason he signed a multi-year deal to stay with the Clippers and just a few months later they’ve shipped him off.
“He spent his last nine years there. He signed a multi-year deal there this summer, so that’s unfortunate. But that’s the business side of it. It’s both sides. It works both sides, though. It’s the business,” James continued.
A recent player who got some hate when initiating a trade was Kyrie Irving. Coming off the Cavaliers’ third straight finals appearance, Irving asked for a trade and got backlash from fans saying he wasn’t loyal to the team that drafted him with the first round pick and helped him win a ring.
But loyalty aside, the Pistons handed the Cavs their 20th loss of the season last night.