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Cavaliers GM Chris Grant rips team for “lack of effort”

Jan 30, 2014, 1:39 PM EDT

Brooklyn Nets v Cleveland Cavaliers Getty Images

I imagine Chris Grant’s seat is feeling a little warm.

He’s the general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers, a team that has been awash in high draft picks in recent years — including last season’s No. 1, used on Anthony Bennett — who was told by his owner publicly it’s time to start making the playoffs.

And even in a putrid Eastern Conference, even after getting Luol Deng in a trade, the Cavaliers are 16-29 and three games out of the playoffs.

Wednesday Grant lit into his team’s effort speaking to the Akron Beacon Journal.

“The lack of effort is just not acceptable,” Grant said. “It’s not who we are and who we want to be. It’s got to be addressed head on. There’s no excuses for that, but we’ve seen our guys compete and execute consistently and that’s really what we’ve got to do a better job of….

“We’re in a tough stretch,” Grant said. “We came off that West Coast trip and that Denver game. We played good basketball. We played really good basketball and even in this tough stretch we’ve played a half or two of good basketball. Unfortunately, we haven’t played two full halves. All we can do is continue to stress and push that. We know it’s there because we’ve done it and we have to hold people accountable to it.”

That felt like a jab at coach Mike Brown — who Grant hired this off-season.

It’s also clearly a jab at the players, and again the roster is all about Grant’s choices (he’s been the GM since 2010). The Cavaliers have been flush with top draft picks in recent seasons and have All-Star Kyrie Irving to show for it (although the trajectory of his career feels different right now than it did a year ago, and the buzz is he is telling people he wants out, although he will end up taking a second contract there one way or another) and a whole lot of guys not living up to the hype — Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson, Bennett. Plus it was Grant that took a reasonable gamble on Andrew Bynum, but one that failed miserably.

There are clearly some locker room issues in Cleveland, with some of it centered around Waiters but clearly no veteran leaders who could clean that mess up.

There also seems to be some sense around the organization they really thought (or think) LeBron James could return this summer. Which borders on the kind of delusional thinking that usually lands one in a room with padded walls.

All of which is to say the issues in Cleveland run deeper than effort on the court, that is just a symptom.

  1. fanofevilempire - Jan 30, 2014 at 1:40 PM

    ah shut up dude, you will be fired for bringing back Mike Brown, which was a great idea.

  2. shanelsweet - Jan 30, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    Well, he’s from Akron where his mom and relatives still live and where he spends millions of dollars helping needy folks. From Nike last month, “Akron, a city of almost 200,000 people in northeastern Ohio, serves as one half of the inspiration behind Saturday’s release of the Nike LeBron 11 “Akron Vs Miami.” The “Akron vs. Miami” colorway combines colors inspires by the two cities that are most meaningful in James’ life – his current city and his hometown.” Lebron could be coming home. He strikes me as the type of stand up guy who might just want to give his hometown folks another chance to see him win a championship to seal his redemption from “The Decision”. You can’t blame the team for selling what folks want to buy.

    • passoutblogger - Jan 30, 2014 at 3:48 PM

      Akron isn’t Cleveland. LeBron has made this point before. He doesn’t consider Cleveland his home.

  3. strictlythedanks - Jan 30, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    Amazing that 16-29 in the east puts you just 3 games out of the playoffs.

    The nba and nhl both are experiencing years of western domination.

  4. clownsfan - Jan 30, 2014 at 2:07 PM

    Never should’ve brought back Mike Brown.
    Danny Boy needs to clean house.

    ps…….trade Kyrie while you can get something for him.

  5. ballin99999 - Jan 30, 2014 at 2:30 PM

    What a terrible GM.

  6. detectivejimmymcnulty - Jan 30, 2014 at 2:58 PM

    The team responded by telling Grant he needs to evaluate talent better.

  7. clesportsfan - Jan 30, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    Dan Gilbert needs to starting holding everyone in the building accountable (GM, Coaches and Players). If they had a sports book in Gilbert’s Cleveland casino, I’d bet the farm that a shake-up is forthcoming

  8. kcoral - Jan 30, 2014 at 4:31 PM

    Man, the ignorance about Waiters and TT is just rampant. Fact: TT is better than Jonas. Fact: Dion is better that Barnes. So, how the eff do you geniuses justify your killing of the players and Grant for picking them? Stupid, lazy meme perpetrated by lazy media…

    • ballin99999 - Jan 30, 2014 at 5:40 PM

      Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters aren’t starters on a playoff caliber team. You gotta get more having the #4 pick back to back years. Anthony Bennett is a nightmare so far. So you’ve got 3 straight top 5 picks and none look to be solid starters on a good team. Plus Mike Brown was a terrible coaching hire. I don’t see many positives there but that’s just me

      • spliff219 - Jan 30, 2014 at 6:37 PM

        couldnt have said it any better.

      • bougin89 - Jan 31, 2014 at 10:43 AM


  9. eugenesaxe1 - Jan 30, 2014 at 8:26 PM

    Grant:: “OK guys, line up so it’ll be easier for the bus to run you over.”

  10. clevelandschronic2 - Jan 31, 2014 at 5:30 AM

    Lol i love how these lame nba writers act like the cavs fans started the whole lebron might return to Cleveland rumors. I think he still might return next year especially with D-wades’ knees getting almost as bad as Bynums. Bosh is a soft,overpaid jumpshooter. Cavs have cap space, they have talent and plenty of draft picks owed over the next few years. If lebron is thinking ahead a few years it might be smart to join a younger team with talent,cap space and plenty of draft picks next year, That way lebron could maybe play less minutes each game and maybe save some wear and tear. Heres one other major fact you writers seem to miss. Lebron has been donating tons of money to his HS, the gym is named after him AND lebron wants his kids to go there plushe still has that massive house here too. I doubt lebron risks his legacy over wades knees.

  11. mgm54 - Feb 1, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    Hear this! NO WAY LeBron James returns to Cleveland with:

    1. Mike Brown – coach
    2. Dan Gilbert – owner

    Looks pretty bleak on the return front…

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