Cavaliers star LeBron James said he was shocked when he woke up from a nap Monday to learn that the Los Angeles Clippers had traded Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons.

A a five-time All-Star and four-time All-NBA selection, Griffin signed a five-year, $171 million contract with the Clippers last summer and had been the face of the franchise.

“I was like, a little bit in shock when I first saw it. But it’s a business. As unfortunate as it looks, I know the business so it is what it is,” James said before shootaround Tuesday for the Cavs game against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena.

Asked why he thought it was unfortunate, James said, “Because 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 works both sides, though.”

James sees the two sides of a player of Griffin’s magnitude leaving.

“When a player gets traded, it’s they 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,’” James said. “That’s the narrative of how it goes. So I’m definitely (aware). I know that firsthand.”

A team that was once the laughingstock of the league was transformed into one known as “Lob City” with Griffin, guard Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan as its core. Paul was traded to the Houston Rockets in a blockbuster deal in June and Jordan is also being shopped.

James could relate to the end of that run as well. He played four years in Miami with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh and they went to four NBA Finals and won two titles.

Asked about the end of the “Lob City” Clippers, James said, “That’s how the league is now. That’s how it goes. It’s no different from us being in Miami and us grabbing the attention for four years and it changes. Or Boston, what they were doing in ‘08, ‘09, ‘10, and then it changes. You know, Orlando was playing great ball with Dwight (Howard), it changes. OKC grabbed it for a little. That’s just how it goes in professional sports at times, unless you’re San Antonio or the New England Patriots. Pretty much everybody else has some moving things that move around.”

Cavs coach Tyronn Lue, who played guard for 10 years in the NBA, felt the same as James.
“All great things come to an end. Lob City, the Highlight Factory in Atlanta, it all comes to an end some day,” Lue said.