The New Orleans Pelicans are one of the most intriguing teams in the NBA heading into the 2021-22 season because of the speculation surrounding Zion Williamson’s future with the organization, with some members of his family apparently believing that he should leave for greater pastures. This puts a lot of pressure on general manager David Griffin to put together a club that can persuade Williamson that he can win in Recent Orleans, but according to a new report by Christian Clark of NOLA.com, Griffin’s ability to do so is in serious doubt.
One of the primary concerns appears to be that Griffin had an overly optimistic stance that he did not always back up. Early in his employment, he gave a presentation that attempted to demonstrate a shift in the team’s culture, with phrases like “Family,” “Accountability,” and “Love” flashing across the screen. Then, because his actions did not match his words, he was given a nickname by his coworkers that was ripped straight from The Last Dance.
Then-coach Alvin Gentry told several people around him, “This is going to be great.” Within months, however, Griffin began blaming Gentry for the Pelicans’ poor start. Once, on a road trip, Griffin was approached by someone he hadn’t spoken to in weeks. Unprompted, Griffin said: “I give Alvin all the answers to the test, and he still fails.” It’s unclear whether Gentry knew of this exchange. He declined to comment.
A group of team members actively disliked Griffin because he sometimes contradicted his own cheery outlook. Some colleagues began referring to Griffin as “Griff Krause” in a group text after the documentary “The Last Dance” aired in April 2020. It was a reference to NBA executive Jerry Krause, who disassembled the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls after they won their third consecutive championship.
Krause was not precisely portrayed as the main character in the ESPN series, since he was frequently the target of jokes from Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen throughout The Last Dance. While Krause did a great job putting together those Bulls teams, he was better known for tearing them apart, and being compared to him is rarely (if ever) a praise.