The Cavaliers have posted a press release to their website to announce that Chris Grant has been let go. It's actually a fairly introspective look at where the Cavaliers are right now, and where the Cavaliers felt a change was necessary.
First, let's start with Grant's statement:
"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."
It seems like Grant has a great understanding of what Cavaliers' fans have gone through with the LeBron James decision, and what this season has meant to them as far as the step back in the rebuild. If there's one thing that you can say about Grant in general, it's that he's a consummate professional. Few that come in contact with him have bad things to say, and it's a shame that things didn't work out for him in Cleveland. He deserves the best wishes for his future career with another organization.
Now comes Dan Gilbert's statement. Gilbert is never one to hold his tongue and made extensive comments on the situation.
"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.
Again, you really can't mention Grant's name without discussing how classy he's been.
"This has been a very difficult period for the franchise. 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.
Kind of upsetting how much the prefix "un-" needed to be used in that paragraph, but hey the situation calls for it. He knows that this is a bad situation, and it needs to be made clear that things aren't being taken lightly. That seems to be why the move was made.
"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."
That word "culture" again. This pretty much comes as a tacit admission that the Cavs' organizational culture has been a problem. We kind of knew that, but it hasn't actually been said by the organization in a public forum like this one. It's an important step for the Cavaliers to cleanse the locker room of whatever problems are happening there, but in reality the problems normally start at the top. The lack of an in-depth vision that this team had was its death knell. It was either BEAT LEBRON TO A TITLE or PLAYOFFS OR BUST. Instead, creating a sense slow progress and unifying thoughts within the front office is the way you create a culture. That culture should hopefully trickle down to the locker room once the roster is inevitably tweaked in the coming weeks.
"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," concluded Gilbert."
We know Gilbert will spend whatever it takes to win. That's great. But he needs to take a step back, let basketball people run the team, and hope that things work. Gilbert is an owner that really cares about the team both from a financial and emotional sense, and there's not much more you can ask for from an owner. I feel confident that with him at the helm the team can turn it around.
Who knows what happens from here with the Cavs. But either way it's nice that they gave some in-depth quotes about the situation at hand.