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SBD/February 7, 2014/Franchises
Cavaliers Promote Griffin To Acting GM After Firing Grant; Gilbert Still Optimistic
Published February 7, 2014
NEXT MAN UP: The PLAIN DEALER's Valade noted Cavs VP/Basketball Operations David Griffin has been "elevated to acting general manager," and the "former right-hand man of Grant has been with the Cavaliers since September 2010 -- shortly after" Grant took over as GM. Griffin came to the Cavaliers after 17 seasons with the Suns, where he served as Senior VP/Basketball Operations "for three years prior to his departure" (CLEVELAND.com, 2/6). ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst noted Grant was a "driving force in re-hiring coach Mike Brown last year, and the players have not responded positively to the change" (ESPN.com, 2/6). In Cleveland, Terry Pluto writes it is "hard to separate Brown from Grant when handing out blame for this collapse." It seems "pointless for the Cavs to retain Brown" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 2/7).
WHAT WENT WRONG: In Akron, Jason Lloyd writes the Cavaliers "were expected to win this season," and that "ultimately is the root of the problem in all of this." It "isn't the talent on the roster that's the problem, it's the effort (or lack of) the players are producing." Grant was "an easy target in the media because he was intensely private, shied away from interviews and rarely spoke to many national writers." But he was "brilliant with trades and manipulating the NBA’s salary cap, worked incredibly long hours year-round and tirelessly scouted colleges and the world in an effort to resurrect a franchise that was once the best in the Eastern Conference" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 2/7). GRANTLAND's Zach Lowe wrote under the header, "Grant Runs Out Of Luck (And Time) In Cleveland." Grant "did some good things" as GM. But the "bottom line is this: You can't have four consecutive top-four picks, use two on big men, and come away with just one player, Kyrie Irving, who is a lock to be an above-average NBA rotation guy." In addition to the front office, the franchise also "should ask itself" whether Brown is the "right coach for this next phase" (GRANTLAND.com, 2/6).
IT STARTS AT THE TOP: In Akron, Marla Ridenour writes Gilbert "should no longer escape culpability for the mess the Cavs have become." Gilbert had the "audacity to say he likes the team’s talent and believes it can succeed with what it has, including Brown." That sounded "delusional and/or like a desperate attempt to sell tickets." Gilbert seems to "foolishly believe that firing Grant will be enough to shock his team back on a path to the playoffs." But with the locker room "fractured and the losses mounting, players might instead be saying Gilbert got it wrong again" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 2/7).