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Kyrie Irving not consulted on Mike Brown’s firing, says Cavaliers general manager David Griffin

May 13, 2014, 12:36 PM EDT

Mike Brown, Kyrie Irving Mike Brown, Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving is the Cavaliers’ only All-Star since LeBron James, the unquestioned franchise player.

Irving can also become an unrestricted free agent as soon as 2016 (though it’s much more likely delayed until 2020) and has reportedly expressed a desire to leave Cleveland.

Even though Irving denies those reports, if I were running the Cavaliers, I’d make an effort to keep Irving happy. A big way to do that is giving him input into the coach he works with daily.

But Cleveland general manger David Griffin, speaking in a pointed tone, denied Irving played a part in Mike Brown’s firing.

“Any – any – insinuation that Kyrie Irving had anything to do with this decision is patently false,” Griffin said. “It’s unfair. He was not counseled on this decision, nor was he counseled on the previous coaching decision.”

If he wanted to save Brown’s job, Irving probably could have. Even if management didn’t want to hear from him, Irving already has the cache to endorse a coach and dare the team to go against his wishes – if he wanted Brown to stay.

Irving wants to play for a successful team, and Brown offered little evidence he could take Cleveland to the playoffs anytime soon. I certainly wouldn’t blame Irving for wanting a change.

And what would be so wrong with consulting your star player on his coach, anyway? Irving is more important to the franchise than the coach. Be up front with Irving and say you’re not necessarily going to follow his wishes, but seek his input.

Asked how Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert will affect the hiring of the next coach, Griffin said, “This will be a collaborative effort effort. I will not make any decision alone, but I will absolutely be leading this process.”

If Gilbert wants to give input, he should. It’s his team, after all. And Griffin’s response shows he’s not afraid to cede some of his power in the name of teamwork.

But Irving is important to this franchise, too. Considering Chris Grant’s midseason firing, maybe even more important than Griffin.

The idea that star players must remain subservient to the coaches and general managers is long outdated. Irving should be viewed as more of a collaborator with the next coach rather than an underling. So, Irving should have a voice – though not decision-making power – in picking his partner for building a winning team.

Griffin can have his principles about players staying their place. I’d rather have Irving on a third contract.

  1. irvness21 - May 13, 2014 at 12:42 PM

    Firing a Coach after 1 season is just plain dumb. Mike Brown or not just a horrible decision. Guess they didnt want the Browns to out do them in the number of coaches to Cleveland race..

  2. sportsfan18 - May 13, 2014 at 12:53 PM

    Hiring Mike Brown a 2nd time was FAR worse than firing after one year…

    Plus, the G.M. who fired him just now was NOT the G.M. who hired him the 2nd time.

    Dan Gilbert was around for ALL of it though… there’s your common denominator…

  3. thenew013 - May 13, 2014 at 12:59 PM

    If Irving did have input I am sure they would keep it under wraps. Why would you let all the candidates know their fate rests in the PG’s hands. Might as well give the job to one of his best friends if that’s the case. no experience needed.

  4. void96eater - May 13, 2014 at 1:07 PM

    Firing a coach after one season is completely justified if they did the job that Mike Brown did. Now before this is taken the wrong way, let me explain.

    This isn’t the first time that Brown has coached the Cavs, so he should have been perfect for the job right? Obviously he wasn’t. He couldn’t even lead the Cavs to the 8 seed in a VERY weak eastern conference. I have no problem with their decision. It’s the first good one they’ve made in 3 years.

    • packergator - May 13, 2014 at 2:44 PM

      True, but Dan Gilbert needs to take a hard look in the mirror here.

  5. duhwighthoward - May 13, 2014 at 1:07 PM

    @Dan Feldman, he’s a free agent at the end of next season. What are you writing about?

    • Kurt Helin - May 13, 2014 at 6:54 PM

      He is a restricted free agent, and that is only if he rejects the max extension offer from the Cavs he will get this summer. Which he will not. Irving may ask for an opt-out after three years of his new deal, but he’s not going anywhere. The only way he is unrestricted is to play out his rookie contract for two more years, not getting the guaranteed money. He will not do that. Nobody has done that. Not LeBron, Melo, Howard, Love, anyone who has forced their way out. They all sign the first extension.

      • duhwighthoward - May 14, 2014 at 12:01 PM

        Got it.

  6. azarkhan - May 13, 2014 at 1:11 PM

    Irving is going to leave anyway, so why should the Cavaliers kiss his ass? Besides, if he’s is going to be allowed to pick the coach, why not let him also pick the GM?

  7. stadix093 - May 13, 2014 at 1:12 PM

    An ex is an ex for a reason. Don’t ever go back.

  8. balsagna - May 13, 2014 at 1:49 PM

    “He should have been”

    Stop. Please. He is a player, not part of the front office. This garbage needs to stop.

    Players stick to being players, let the front office do their jobs as well.

  9. rrhoe - May 13, 2014 at 2:48 PM

    While I agree the player/coach relationship should be good I am not too crazy about players having say-so in regards to hiring and firing.

  10. ggallin4evr - May 13, 2014 at 9:08 PM

    General manger?

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