UPDATE: The Cleveland Cavaliers confirmed rumors that GM Chris Grant has been let go. Here’s the press release:
The Cleveland Cavaliers have released General Manager Chris Grant effective immediately and appointed Vice President of Basketball Operations, David Griffin, as Acting General Manager. Grant was named general manager of the Cavs on June 4, 2010. He originally joined the franchise as the club’s vice president of basketball operations/assistant general manager in July 2005.
“I would like to thank Chris Grant for his eight and a half years of service with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the last three and a half as General Manager. Chris always conducted himself with class, integrity and was motivated by what he believed was right for the organization. We wish Chris and his family the best in the years to come,” said Dan Gilbert Majority Owner of the Cavaliers.
“My entire focus the past eight years has been on trying to build a team that can contend and win and provide Cleveland fans the success that they deserve,” said Grant. “I have a tremendous appreciation for the players that are here and the coaches that I have worked with, as well as our front office. I thank them for all of their dedication and commitment to the Cavaliers.”
Little known rule in the NBA: when you lose to a sleeping Chris Kaman and a few other anonymous Lakers, someone has to get fired. Ergo, Cleveland reportedly sacked its GM this morning. Chris Grant, who recently called out the Cavs for “terrible” play, is now unemployed. Per Yahoo!:
(Dan) Gilbert informed Grant of his dismissal late Thursday morning, sources said.
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.
Cleveland is 16-33 and losers of six straight games. They’re 5.5 games out of the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Gilbert had delivered a mandate of making the playoffs for the Cavaliers this season.
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.
Grant had been responsible for drafting several high lottery picks that have yet to validate themselves, including No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett in the 2013 NBA draft. Grant has been waiting for several top-five draft picks, including Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson, to fulfill their promise.