It seems like it’s tough to make it through a single day without some report of dysfunction from the Cleveland Cavaliers. The team is going for it’s third straight win on Tuesday night, but a small glimmer of winning isn’t enough to hide the mess that has been bubbling up below the surface.
In a thorough breakdown of the team’s dysfunction, Bleacher Report’s Ken Berger addressed the perception around the league regarding who is running the Cavs, as told to him by a rival executive:
“The word is out that Dan is running things,” a rival executive told B/R. “Frankly, that’s where he’s happiest and the role he’s most comfortable in.”
This report shouldn’t be a huge surprise, as we heard a lot of this talk in the summer. The Cavs operated without a general manager for a significant part of free agency, as well as the time after the Kyrie Irving trade request. General manager Koby Altman was a part of that process even before being named general manager, but it was always clear that Gilbert was heavily involved in those proceedings.
With Altman, 35, operating as a first time general manager, it makes sense that there would be some leadership structure in place. However, the article seems to imply that there’s a perception that he is figurehead while Gilbert is running the team. Whether real or perceived, that’s not the best look for an organization that has been dealing with a significant amount of dysfunction this year.
A lack of clarity over who is in charge, and why the organization is running the way it running the way is explains some of the angst felt by the players on this roster. Last week’s team blowup wasn’t just a feud between players, it moved on to frustrations between players and management.
With just over a week until the trade deadline, the Cavs have a limited amount of time to sort through their issues, and try to salvage what is left of this season. Whoever is running the team has a lot of work to do.