Are Dan Gilbert and David Griffin on the same page?

Gilbert and Cavs win lottery

Gilbert and Cavs win lottery

Is the Cavalier coaching search being hindered by the team’s owner? There have already been talks about Dan Gilbert’s impact on the NBA Draft, but making matters (potentially) worse is his impact on the search for a new head coach. On Wednesday morning, ESPN.com basketball scribe Brian Windhorst took to the airwaves of WKNR 850/ESPNCleveland and painted a picture that will do very little for the confidence of Cavalier fans.

In their head coaching search, the former Cavaliers beat writer depicted two separate coaching searches going on—one led by a splash-needy majority owner in Gilbert and his checkbook, ultimately turning up very little; the other led by team general manager David Griffin and a more realistic approach, leading to interviews of individuals like Alvin Gentry and Tyronn Lue among others.

Gilbert was reportedly behind the courting of University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari, who left millions on the table to stay in the NCAA. Gilbert has also been linked to big-name collegiate coaches like Michigan State’s Tom Izzo and Florida’s Billy Donovan. Windhorst, however, stated that David Griffin’s process has netted different results. He’s looking at individuals who are interested in being the head coach of this team rather than attempting to sell them on the potential benefits. He also appears to have his sites set on a former colleague, but the road block to anything being finalized could be the man who is set to hold his own interviews later this week.

“From the start, David Griffin’s pick has been Alvin Gentry,” Windhorst said. “I think that will be a hard sell to Dan Gilbert.”

Gilbert, by all accounts, will be holding interviews with Gentry and Lue later this week. Windhorst also added that Mark Price, despite his interview and fan fare, will not be named head coach of this Cavaliers team, but could potentially be considered for an assistant spot. Wrapping things up, the former PD writer said that more important than the coaching search is the selection at the June 26 NBA Draft. “I cannot emphasize enough about the importance of this draft for the Cavs—I don’t care who the coach is.”

Introduced to the media as the general manager of the Cavaliers, Griffin stated that the front office and ownership group would search for the next Cavs head coach as a collective, led by him. ““I will not be making any decision alone. But I will be leading this process,” Griffin said. “This is not about being first, this is about being right.”

 

  • Adam Copeland

    Gilbert’s meddling in this process is concerning and unhelpful (even though I happen to agree with him that Alvin Gentry would be an uninspiring coaching hire). Gilbert’s main role for this organization should be finding the right basketball minds to put in the front office and then he should step back and let them do their jobs. If he really believed David Griffin was the right man to be the GM of the club, he shouldn’t be undermining Griffin’s head coaching search. I appreciate Gilbert’s willingness to spend whatever it takes to win, but Gilbert is simply not qualified to make the determinations about what it’s going to take for the Cavaliers to become a consistent winner. That’s why you hire good people and then trust them do their jobs.

  • Clown Baby

    Didn’t Windhorst also say that Griffin knew when he accepted the job that Gilbert would be potentially looking to hire someone over him (Griffin)? I didn’t listen but I thought I saw a quote to that effect on twitter.

    If that’s true, then it’s plausible that Gilbert was honest with Griffin from the beginning and this isn’t he proverbial, train off the tracks that everyone thinks it is. Personally, if Griffin’s choice is Gentry than I hope Gilbert meddles away. I mean, there is a precedent of Gilbert standing idly by while the GM (re)hires an old work buddy correct? Not to mention this particular ex-colleague is a 50+ year old coaching journeyman.

  • boomhauertjs

    Can we say the Cavs have moved ahead of the Browns in Cleveland sports ineptitude scale? I didn’t think it was possible, but the potential is sure there if they screw up both the coaching hire and the #1 overall.

  • architrance

    Who cares? Billionaire owner can have a different level of sway to high profile coaches. I’d much rather have them at least try to land a big name, fail and then make the uninspiring hire.

    You know who else Gentry will be a hard sell to? Cavs fans. I still trust in Gilbert. I’m sure he’s spoken to Griffin about this, I mean it’s a TEAM for god’s sake.

  • RGB

    More importantly, are they using the same font?

  • architrance

    Pure speculation about things that haven’t even happened yet. The Browns are at the rock bottom of the NFL, the Cavs have a chance to draft a second franchise cornerstone. I’ll take my chances rooting for the Cavs over the Frowns any decade.

  • Steve

    The problem is that Izzo, Calipari and even Donovan aren’t much more than high-profile as NBA candidates. The game is different, and a big part of what makes them successful at the college level is severely limited at the pro level. They certainly could be successful, but they’re just as long of a shot as many assistant and retread head coaches out there.

    It’s not just that Gilbert is meddling, it’s that his meddling is going to bring in some iffy candidates. If he offered to throw big money at Phil Jackson, Karl, or Van Gundy, I can be on board with that type of meddling.

  • JNeids

    It was awfully nice of Lebron to let Windy have the day off to come speak with us.

  • Joseph Mastrantoni

    I just keep thinking about Haslam and Gilbert and the end of Scooby Doo episodes: “We’d of won some championships if it hadn’t been for you meddling owners!”

  • cmm13

    “That’s why you hire good people and then trust them do their jobs.”

    The problem of course being that Dan has actually never hired anybody good.

  • cmm13

    No. We cannot.

    Check in again another decade from now though and we might be able to.

  • cmm13

    What does Lebron think?

  • cmm13

    Winner.

  • matt underwood

    competence ranking:

    1. tribe
    2. browns
    3. monsters
    4. crunch
    5. barons
    6. rockers
    7. lumberjacks
    8. force
    9. dan gilbert’s cavs

  • mgbode

    “From the start, David Griffin’s pick has been Alvin Gentry,” Windhorst said. “I think that will be a hard sell to Dan Gilbert.”

    well, despite anything else, I’m on Dannie-Boys side on this one.

  • mgbode

    LeBron demanded BW say something negative about the Cavs after last night. Let’s just say he was in a bad mood after Danny Green went 7/8 against him.

  • cmm13

    JUST OFFER CALIPARI LIKE $80 MILLION AND BE DON; er……….wait.

  • JNeids

    Lebron must be kicking himself that he could have stayed in Cleveland and been playing along side Green these past few years. The Robin to his Batman was right underneath his nose.

  • Horace

    Agreed re: Gentry. Though, chad ford said (today or yesterday) that if Embiid is healthy and checks out OK, then, on paper, he’s the slam dunk, no brainer #1 pick, not even close (and he would be griffin’s choice). Centers like that come around every 10 years or so. However, Gilbert isn’t convinced bc Embiid might take a season or two to develop, while Parker/Wiggins could provide more in year 1.

    Ford also said that this mindset contributed to Bennett at #1 last year (e.g., must win now).

  • mgbode

    of course, I have also proven that is an incorrect assessment of C vs. SF. Centers usually provide more their rookie year.

    and, of course, until yesterday, Ford had Wiggins #1 except for the days that he had Parker #1. He’s just covering his rear and he’ll point to whichever random day he was correct after the draft.

  • Jim

    If Gilbert is blocking Alvin Gentry from being named coach then I am all for his intervention. Guy is a re-tread who has won very little in the NBA.

  • Horace

    Yeah you are probably right, though I am concerned with Gilbert meddling with the pick.

    Where is your assessment of C vs SF? I agree w/ your conclusion and am somewhat perplexed as to why people say that a 7’2 rim protector who can give you maybe 8ppg and 7rpg in 20 mins as a rookie isn’t beneficial. If anything, his D alone would be huge, way more impactful than wing defense from parker/wiggins.

  • mgbode

    i’ve been mostly providing snippets over the past few weeks. i really should do a comprehensive write-up on it at some point (the questions to overcome are if we should ignore the busts or factor them in differently, etc.).

    anyway, the most glaring snippet I thought was the following as it demonstrates the expected WS/48 from rookie SF who have become the overall top2 MVP candidates with peer-bigs:

    Rookie WS/48
    LeBron James .071
    Dwight Howard .131

    Greg Oden .167
    Kevin Durant .040

  • MoreGolfLessWork

    Why does Cleveland news continue to come from this guy? Can’t we find somebody else who, you know, didn’t leave Cleveland?

  • CBI

    With both teams replacing their general managers and first year head coaches during the off season, I’d say it’s a dead heat.

  • Steve

    Because he’s more plugged into what’s happening in Cleveland than most other reporters out there. Why do you let your opinion of his personal matters affect how you view his professional work?

  • cmm13

    Uhhh….the Cavs playoff and finals appearences in the last 10 years would beg to differ.

    I know that even during those seasons the organization was a mess behind the scenes but there is no way that ANY team in the city can match the sucktitude of the Cleveland Browns over the past decade.

    And if you want to talk “current” landscape I will still put the Browns house in less order than the Cavs due to the unknown fate of the owner stemming from his legal troubles with the FBI.

  • MoreGolfLessWork

    I think it is sad that a reporter who followed LeBron out of Cleveland 4 years ago is still “more plugged into what’s happening in Cleveland” than reporters IN Cleveland. It’s not like he is breaking big time national news that just happens to involve Cleveland… that would make more sense. But local news that only Cavs fans care about… I just find it odd there isn’t a local guy to give us insight into the Cavs coaching search. Or better yet, we still go to a guy in Miami reporting on the Heat for our Cavs-related news.

  • MoreGolfLessWork

    I think it is sad that a reporter who followed LeBron out of Cleveland 4 years ago is still “more plugged into what’s happening in Cleveland” than reporters IN Cleveland. It’s not like he is breaking big time national news that just happens to involve Cleveland… that would make more sense. But local news that only Cavs fans care about… I just find it odd there isn’t a local guy to give us insight into the Cavs coaching search. Or better yet, we still go to a guy in Miami reporting on the Heat for our Cavs-related news.

  • Harv 21

    Because Windhorst is far superior, in his reporting, knowledge and writing ability, of any beat writer currently in town. By a mile. In Browns news Mary Kay gets regularly scooped by national writers and has an obviously low football IQ.

    We lost a gem when Windy left.

  • Harv 21

    Because Windhorst is far superior, in his reporting, knowledge and writing ability, of any beat writer currently in town. By a mile. In Browns news Mary Kay gets regularly scooped by national writers and has an obviously low football IQ.

    We lost a gem when Windy left.

  • CBI

    I’m confused, if you put the Browns house in less order than the Cavs why were you disagreeing with boomhauertjs?

    Oh, and I was thinking more “current” landscape but it you want to analyze the last 10 years we can. Those playoff wins and finals appearance (no ‘s’) can be attributed to the once in a generation talent that fell into the Cavilers lap in 2003. Management/ownership’s ineptitude in surrounding James with any sort of talent not only cost Cleveland its best chance at a championship since 1997, but paved the road for James’s departure.

    I guess I follow the old adage, “Its better to never had money than had it and lost it.” For me, having Lebron and failing is a bigger fail than anything the Browns have done since Slaughter decided not to block Jeremiah Castille.

  • Steve

    It’s not like all his sources moved to Miami with him. He, obviously, still knows a lot of people plugged into the Cavaliers. I’m not sure why it’s sad at all that an actually good reporter cares about one of our teams.

  • cbi

    Sorry, my first paragraph was an example of a reading comprehension fail

  • simond

    i agree with this and I’ll take it one step further –

    (I dont think LeBron is coming back but…) Lets just say LeBron comes back… Does Windy come back too?

  • MoreGolfLessWork

    I would bet my life savings on it.

  • cmm13

    No worries at all; in fact in an article posted yesterday I described the exact same situation you did in regards to it being the best of times and the worst of times for the Cavaliers during the LeBron era.

    I guess in the end it doesn’t matter who sucks more; just that they both are perfect examples of how to not own/run a professional sports organization.