Cleveland Cavaliers fire Mike Brown; hire David Griffin as GM.
Cleveland Cavaliers fans that have been anxious about the status of interim general manager David Griffin and head coach Mike Brown got their conclusions today. Shortly after David Griffin was named the GM of the Cavs this morning, head coach Mike Brown was fired.
Griffin, who took over the GM duties this past season after Chris Grant was fired, made the Spencer Hawes trade and the Cavs went 17-16 with him in charge. Griffin has over two decades of experience in the league and is analytically savvy as well. I was pleased Dan Gilbert’s decision to retain Griffin and make him the full-time GM of the Cavs.
The bomb that was dropped shortly after was that Brown had been fired as head coach of the Cavs. Brown previously coached the Cavs from 2005-2010 and was fired prior to The Decision in hopes of keeping LeBron James in Cleveland. That move failed, and now after just one season of his new 5-year contract with the Cavs, he’s been ousted again. Brown posted a 305-87 (.620) win-loss record during his time with the Cavs, second only to Lenny Wilkens.
It was obvious that Brown didn’t fit Griffin’s future views for the team, but I figured with four years and $16 million remaining on his contract, he might get another year to prove his worth. Apparently Griffin convinced Gilbert that this wasn’t the right move, however, and to pay off Brown for the betterment of the team. The timing of the firing (the NBA combine and draft are quickly approaching) also causes me to assume that Griffin had some convincing replacements in mind and that the Cavs will act quickly in hiring one of them.
Some of the coaching candidates include: Mike D’Antoni, Lionel Hollins, Mark Jackson, George Karl, Fred Hoiberg, Kevin Ollie, Vinny del Negro, Adrian Griffin and Stan Van Gundy.
Griffin spent 17 years with the Phoenix Suns in a front office position and is friends with D’Antoni, whom also fits Griffin’s philosophy of opening up the court and running.
Former Memphis Grizzlies coach Hollins, whom has already expressed interest in the position, is likely a strong candidate as well.
Hoiberg and Ollie are two college coaches with NBA experience who have been linked to several NBA coaching vacancies lately. Hoiberg has Iowa State playing a fast-tempo and putting up a lot of points on offense. He seems to fit what Griffin is looking for and I would be surprised if he wasn’t on the Cavs radar. Ollie just led Uconn to a national championship, but with seemingly several large offers on the table, he and the Cavs are an unlikely pairing.
Former Denver Nuggets coach Karl has expressed interest in a front office job with the Cavs, so maybe he isn’t currently pursuing coaching openings, but I wouldn’t complexly rule him out.
Chicao Bulls assistant coach Adrian Griffin was reported as a strong possibility by USA Today reporter Sam Amick. Griffin comes from a great program and I’ve heard good things about him.
Former Orlando Magic coach SVG has been away from coaching for a while, but his name is constantly linked with NBA coaching vacancies. This is a long shot. Lastly, Vinny del Negro also has ties with Griffin from Phoenix. Let’s all hope that this never gains any traction…
Hopefully the Cavs put in their due diligence this week and arrive at the best coach for the job. A combination of Griffin and the right coach could really propel this Cavs team to success. There’s no more room for error with this team; the time to win is now.