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Cleveland Cavaliers' firing of the GM in midseason is an unusual move
WKSU's Terry Pluto says head coaches usually go before GMs

Kabir Bhatia
In 2010, on the heels of LeBron James' departure, the Cavaliers promoted Chris Grant (left) to general manager, and hired a new head coach, Byron Scott.
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In The Region:
The firing of Cleveland Cavaliers GM Chris Grant is an unusual move for an NBA team, even one with one of the worst records in the NBA. WKSU's Kabir Bhatia talked to commentator Terry Pluto about the latest developments in a disastrous season.
LISTEN: Pluto on the troubled Cavs

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The Cavs appointed Chris Grant as GM in 2010, a month before LeBron James headed to the Miami Heat. Since then, the team’s overall record is the worst in the league.

That was supposed to change this year with the re-hiring of head coach Mike Brown, who led the Cavs and LeBron to five straight playoff seasons before being fired in 2010. WKSU Commentator Terry Pluto says that move could have cost Chris Grant his job.

“The Mike Brown thing isn’t working. Yet, Mike still has his job. In my mind, maybe something else is coming down the pike and they’ll come up with another coach in the next two weeks. Usually, the pattern is: You fire the coach and put in an interim coach during the season. And if that doesn’t work, at the end of the season you fire the general manager. This is the opposite.”

Drafts were telling
Pluto says Grant also failed in one of the chief jobs of a GM: drafting players that complement each other. 

“He didn’t care exactly how these players fit together. In 2011, he drafted Kyrie Irving, a point guard. The next year, he drafted Dion Waiters, a point guard. Both of them like to have the ball a lot, and it makes it tough for them to play together. It was like he was collecting talent, but the pieces really didn’t form. I think the hope was that Mike Brown could make some sense of this puzzle. But, if anything, it’s more jumbled than it was a year ago.”

During Grant's tenure, the team has not returned to the playoffs, despite a number of first-round draft picks. The Cavaliers are 16-33 this year, the fourth-worst record in the NBA. The team has only one win at home in the past month, over Milwaukee -- which has the worst record in the NBA.

The firing comes on the heels of a 119-108 loss to the injury-plagued Los Angeles Lakers, who finished last night's game with just five players.

In a statement, team owner Dan Gilbert called this a difficult time for the franchise, adding that the situation is "completely unacceptable" to fans, season-ticket holders, corporate partners and Cavs' ownership.  Cavaliers' VP of Basketball Operations David Griffin has been named acting GM.
Listener Comments:

Maybe Gilbert should consider bringing a WNBA team back to Cleveland. The Rockers were a great team and even won the Eastern Conference Title while they were here. Gund got rid of them when LeBron came. I am not saying to replace the Cav's with a WNBA team, but to add the women's team as well. I've often wondered how to contact Mr Gilbert to put this before him so if you could pass this on(or email me how to reach him) I would appreciate it. I also know that most men don't care for women's basketball as evidenced by the lack of reporting on the Ohio State women's team but that doesn't mean that there is not a fan base here in Cleveland for a WNBA team. Cleveland is close to Chicago, New York and Indiana who all have a WNBA team. Think of the money that could be made by fans coming to the game and spending money in the casino and visiting the other areas of interest here in Cleveland. It is worth a thought.

Thanks for your time and some feedback would be nice.

Posted by: Mae on February 6, 2014 9:02AM
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