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It’s official: Cleveland Cavaliers fire GM Chris Grant

Feb 6, 2014, 2:07 PM EDT

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UPDATE 2:07 p.m.: The Cleveland Cavaliers have confirmed the report, they have fired general manager Chris Grant. David Griffin, who had been an assistant to Grant, will step in as the interim GM.

“This has been a very difficult period for the franchise,” Owner Dan Gilbert said in a released statement. “We have severely underperformed against expectations. Just as this is completely unacceptable to our loyal and passionate fan base, season ticket holders and corporate partners, it is also just as unacceptable to our ownership group. I can assure everyone who supports and cares about the Cleveland Cavaliers that we will continue to turn over every stone and explore every possible opportunity for improvement to shift the momentum of our franchise in the right direction. There is no one in our entire organization who is satisfied with our performance, and to say that we are disappointed is an understatement. We all know the great potential of our young talent, seasoned veterans, as well as our recent all-star addition. We believe a change in leadership was necessary to establish the best possible culture and environment for our entire team to flourish.

“There is no move, nor any amount of capital investment, we will not make if we believe it will improve our chances of competing and winning in this league for both the short and long term. The fans of this great city have invested too much time, money and effort for the kind of product we have recently delivered to them. This must change.”

1:03 p.m.: Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert made it public last June, standing on the stage at the NBA Draft Lottery where his Cavaliers had once again gotten the top pick in the draft — he said he was tired of being at the lottery, he wanted to make the playoffs next season.

Instead the Cavaliers are an absolute mess. A tire fire. At 16-33 they have lost 8-of-9, have a bottom 10 offense and defense, have serious chemistry issues in the locker room, have a coach in Mike Brown who clearly doesn’t have the players attention, and Wednesday night the Cavs lost at home to a Lakers team that had dropped seven in a row, was on the second night of a back-to-back and by the end of the game only had four legally eligible players they could put on the court.

This organization needs a complete and total shake up and that started Thursday when the team fired GM Chris Grant, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

Gilbert had grown increasingly frustrated with the losing and dysfunction within the Cavaliers and the loss to the Lakers – who finished the game with four eligible players – was the breaking point…

Grant had a reputation as a hard-working executive, but failed to construct an infrastructure of talent to return the Cavaliers to the playoffs for the first time since LeBron James left as a free agent in 2010.

Current assistant GM David Griffin is expected to become Cavs’ interim GM, Wojnarowski reports.

This firing was coming for a while.

Grant has been the guy in charge of building this roster after LeBron James bolted town. He had one shining smart move, drafting Kyrie Irving. Which with the top pick in that draft was a no brainer.

But look at his other top picks — Tristan Thompson is a potential rotation player out of the No. 4 spot; Dion Waiters shot up the board late and was the No. 4 pick taken in front of Damian Lillard and Andre Drummond; and the pick of Anthony Bennett at No. 1 last season was a surprising reach at the time that has yet to pay off at all.

Grant brought in Mike Brown, who has had about as much attention and control over this team as your high school substitute history teacher did over your class. Mike Brown’s seat just got insanely hot, he may survive this season but it’s hard to see him lasting beyond this summer.

Grant rolled the dice on Andrew Bynum, but that came up snake eyes. Grant made the trade to bring in Luol Deng to turn this season around in Cleveland. Not only has that not worked, Deng was reportedly dismayed at what he saw in the locker room.

What is wrong in Cleveland is not easily fixed. It’s going to require a good general manager and a few years.

They still have the All-Star Irving — while his progression slowed this season (thanks again, Mike Brown) he is still potentially an elite point guard who can be a franchise cornerstone with the right guidance. He is not bolting — he will take the guaranteed huge money of his first post rookie-deal contract (just as LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony and every other star who eventually bolted town did). They have time to build something around him and keep him in town.

Grant being fired was the first step in that process.

  1. rghinfo - Feb 6, 2014 at 4:59 PM

    I’m trying to remember the last time I saw a team’s GM in uniform playing. Granted they are at the head of the table for decisions but isn’t it the player’s responsibility too?
    Where is the adjustment on that end?
    I said it before and I’ll say it till the last breathe.
    The rules need to be changed: You lose a game, you lose part of your pay.
    How’s that for incentive. Of course, we all know that will never happen.
    It’s not that the Cavs or the Brown’s don’t have talented players, they don’t have the talent to bring the talent to Cleveland. Aside from the Indians, this town is as broke with a winning sports franchise as the city of Detroit is bankrupt.

  2. dinofrank60 - Feb 6, 2014 at 6:17 PM

    Well, Dan Gilbert…
    Payback is a mutha

    – Mitch Kupchak

  3. stephenolszewski - Feb 6, 2014 at 7:15 PM

    I understand you don’t want the guy that made this team a mess to begin with making deals towards the deadline, but what good is it if a Interim GM does it? And not sure how firing your GM mid season helps anything besides making this franchise look even more of a mess. Mike Brown is as much to blame I feel, he’s being exposed for the kind of coach he is. He’s not good at developing young talent, he’s lost each locker room he’s been in when he was a coach. Nice guy but just isn’t a coach

  4. ufools - Feb 6, 2014 at 7:24 PM

    Losing to Lakers……last straw. Haha

  5. sportzy - Feb 7, 2014 at 11:01 AM

    With the roster the Cavs have now, with all the lottery picks, and Kyrie Irving (projected as top 6 by ESPN), the same coach, this team is still god awful This just shows us all how legendary LeBron James is. As a Cavs fan, I can see very clearly why LeBron wanted to bolt out of this city. The success he gave us over 7 years is equivalent to two 3-peats.

    A failed organization starts from up top. Gilbert pampers athletes. He hire the wrong GM, who hired the wrong coach, who implements poor offensive schemes.

    LeBron’s success in Cleveland is equivalent to winning multiple championships. His sidekick Larry Hughes has retired because he couldn’t find an NBA job. Mo Williams has never been more than a rotation player. No one has heard of Boobie Gibson ever since.

  6. coachjac30 - Feb 7, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    Grant wasn’t THE problem in Cleveland, its Gilbert. He is the one that wanted to bring back Brown, as evidenced by his “vote of confidence” today and he is the one that wanted to draft Bennett, who is more of a stretch 4 than a 3.

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