Tag Archives: Mike Brown


From Princeton to Europe to Cleveland. That’s the path David Blatt has taken over 20 years to be a head coach in the NBA.

David Blatt

Blatt becomes the 20th head coach in Cleveland Cavaliers history, replacing the recently fired Mike Brown.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst is reporting it’s a three year deal with a fourth year team option for the man who led Maccabi Tel Aviv to the 2014 Euroleague championship.

Blatt who has never played or coached in the NBA is known for his offensive mind and he beat out former Lakers point guard and current Clippers assistant coach Tyronn Lue for the job.

David Griffin Photo 5-13-14

In the  team’s official press release, Cavs G.M. David Griffin said, “David is a great basketball coach and a special person.  His abilities to communicate, to build relationships with his players and to foster winning environments at several stops throughout Europe and across the highest levels of International competition speaks for itself.  He brings unbridled passion, energy and creativity to his craft. These qualities have enabled David to reach a level of success that is truly unique. I have watched David’s work for many years. He has an uncanny ability to adapt his system to maximize the talents of his teams year after year. That is why I am very confident he will make a smooth transition to the NBA.  There is a great opportunity to accelerate the progress of moving our team and franchise to the higher level of play we all believe we are capable of achieving. I am excited that the experience, knowledge, skills and leadership David will bring to the Cavaliers is the right fit at the right time.” 

Dan Gilbert Photo

Cavs majority owner Dan Gilbert had this to say about his new head coach, “David Blatt is going to bring some of the most innovative approaches found in professional basketball anywhere on the globe. Time and time again, from Russia to Israel and several other prominent head coaching jobs in between, David has done one thing: ‘win’. He is not only an innovator, well-trained and focused on both sides of the court, but he is always learning and always teaching. Whether you are a top draft pick just entering the league, or a seasoned NBA veteran, Coach Blatt is going to take your game and the game of the team you are playing for to a new and higher level. That’s just who the man is and we are proud to call him our new head coach. We are driven by one thing and one thing only; delivering Cavaliers fans everywhere and the city of a Cleveland the kind of competitive basketball they deserve. I look forward to David’s leadership in helping the entire Cavaliers organization realize our vision.”


The 55 year old Blatt shared these thoughts in the Cavs press release,   “I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to come to Cleveland and lead the Cavaliers as their head coach. After spending a great deal of time discussing the organization, the team and the head coach’s role with David Griffin, I feel strongly about my fit for the job and this team’s potential. This is an opportune time to join the Cleveland Cavaliers. We are going to work extremely hard to achieve the kind of results we all expect and know are possible,” said Blatt.  “I also want to thank Dan Gilbert, Nate Forbes, Jeff Cohen, and many others within the Cavaliers front office, for their belief and confidence in me and what we can accomplish together. This is a proud day for me, personally, but I hope just the first of many more for all of us as we work towards a very bright future. I have always heard about how great of a sports town Cleveland is and have come to understand how much fans here care about the Cavaliers. This makes me feel especially excited and comfortable to join this community but above all motivates me to help deliver in a big way.” 

Blatt will be introduced to the media during a Wednesday, June 25th press conference at Cleveland Clinic Courts at 11am.




Listen to the entire David Griffin press conference as he talks about taking over as the full-time GM, Mike Brown being fired and building this team.

David Griffin Photo 5-13-14


Cavs beat reporter Sam Amico and I breakdown the hiring of David Griffin full-time by the Cavs as G.M. and the firing of Mike Brown as head coach and the search for his replacement.


Mike Brown Cavs


Following the Cavs final game of  the 2013-14 season, a 114-85 win on April 16th over the Brooklyn Nets I asked Mike Brown if he felt he needed to plead his case to owner Dan Gilbert as to why he should stay on as the head coach of the Cavs? Here’s what Mike told me –


Mike Brown Cavs


After one season in his second stint as Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown has been fired once again by owner Dan Gilbert.

Mike Brown Photo

Mike Brown press conference (4-16-14) after Cavs final game of the season on his future.


Brown was brought in a second time because Gilbert wanted him to reinstitute his defensive game plan and mindset with a Cavaliers basketball team that had no interest in playing defense under Byron Scott. While the Cavs made some progress defensively and improved their win total by nine games at (33-49) in a under Brown, not making the playoffs in a year Gilbert and many expected the Cavs to be in the post-season probably cost Brown his job for the second time in Cleveland.

While Brown is on his way out, interim GM David Griffin was promoted today to full-time general manager of the team and his first task will be to begin the coaching search for Mike Brown’s replacement.

Cavs GM David Griffin

Potential candidates the Cavs and Griffin could be interested in are Mark Jackson, Fred Hoiberg, Stan Van Gundy, Steve Kerr, George Karl, Lionel Hollins, Adrian Griffin, Nate McMillan, David Fizdale, Alvin Gentry Tom Izzo and John Calipari to name a few.

Griffin will hold an official press conference tomorrow morning at 11am at Cleveland Clinic Courts to address the changes.



-Offical Cavs Press Release- 5-12-14

CLEVELAND, OH – David Griffin has been named General Manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Mike Brown has been released as Head Coach, the team announced today. Griffin had been acting General Manager since February 6th, 2014. Brown was hired as Head Coach on April 24th, 2013.

“Our ownership group is looking forward to David Griffin leading the basketball side of our business. We interviewed several strong candidates for the GM position including Griff. We chose David as our GM because we believe he is the best person to lead our franchise at this critical time and into the future. David brings over two decades of experience. He knows the ins and outs of this league as well as anyone and is also an outstanding talent evaluator.

More importantly, he is a General Manager who is aligned with our culture and philosophy which is the foundation of how we do business. David is not only passionate about his own job but also cares deeply about the success of everyone around him. His presence  alone creates an infectious  positive environment with players, coaches, front office people and even our fan base. We already saw some progress in the short time David led our basketball side in the latter part of this past season. Clearly, we have substantial work ahead of us and I am confident that Griff will play an essential part of the growth and success of our organization,” said Dan Gilbert, Majority Owner of the Cavaliers.

The Cavs record was 16-33 (.326) when Griffin became acting GM, then went on to close the season with a 17-16 (.520) record following his appointment. Griffin and the Cavaliers basketball front office staff remain focused on reviewing the past season and preparing for the draft, including the pre-draft player combine in Chicago this week, as well as preparing for the upcoming NBA free agency period.

“Our ownership’s commitment to this franchise and the fans of Cleveland is absolute. I feel that commitment, not only by the resources they make available but also with their tireless passion for delivering a championship-caliber team. Our entire organization reflects that passion and commitment. I am humbled and honored to be put in position to aggressively work with them, all of our front office staff and anyone who can contribute to achieving that vision,” said Griffin.

Griffin joined the Cavaliers as vice president of basketball operations in September 2010. Prior to joining the Cavaliers, he spent 17 seasons with the Phoenix Suns, the last three as the club’s senior vice president of basketball operations after being named to the position in June 2007. Griffin joined the Suns basketball operations group in 1997 and performed various roles with the team including assistant general manager of player personnel, director of player personnel and assistant director of player personnel.

“Over the last several months it has become clear to me that the Cavaliers are on the cusp of reaching the higher level of success that we all want and our fans so greatly deserve.  At the same time, it has become apparent that certain changes are needed. We now have the assets to make those necessary changes and additions to our team,” Griffin stated.

Brown finished the 2013-14 season with a 33-49 record and 10th place in the Eastern Conference. He also served as Head Coach of the Cavaliers from 2005-2010 and his life time record with the Cavs was 305-187.

“This is a very tough business. It pains all of us here that we needed to make the difficult decision of releasing Mike Brown. Mike worked hard over this last season to move our team in the right direction. Although, there was some progress from our finish over the few prior seasons, we believe we need to head in a different direction. We wish Mike and his family nothing but the best,” said Gilbert.

“Our ownership support provides the highest level of resources, flexibility and commitment to aggressively do whatever we believe needs to be done in order to win. There is no harder working or better human being in our league than Mike,” Griffin added.  “This was not an easy decision.  We thank Mike for his efforts and wish him, his wife Carolyn, and their family only the best.”

Griffin is leading an immediate search for the Cavaliers’ new Head Coach. The current Cavaliers assistant coaches remain under contract and working with the team.



Here’s my team-by-team grade and breakdown of the picks made by all the AFC North GM’s.

AFC North Helmets Photo



AFC North Helmets Photo


CLEVELAND BROWNS   –   GM – Ray Farmer   –   Overall Grade   ( B-)

Manziel & Gilbert Questions Photo 2

1st – 8th –  Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

1st – 22nd – Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

2nd – 35th –  Joel Bitonio, OG, Nevada

3rd – 71st –  Christian Kirksey, OLB, Iowa

3rd – 94th – Terrance West, RB, Towson

4th – 127th – Pierre Desir, CB, Lindenwood

*(Picked up Buffalo’s 1st Round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft)


PITTSBURGH STEELERS   –   GM  –  Kevin Colbert   –   Overall Grade   (B+)

Ryan Shazier OSU Photo

1st – 15th –  Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State

2nd – 46th –  Stephon Tuitt, DT, Notre Dame

3rd – 97th –  Dri Archer, WR, Kent State

4th – 118th – Martavis Bryant, WR, Clemson

5th – 157th –  Shaquille Richardson, CB, Arizona

5th – 173rd –  Wesley Johnson, C, Vanderbilt

6th – 192nd – Jordan Zumwalt, OLB, UCLA

6th – 215th – Daniel McCullers, DT, Tennessee

7th – 230th –  Rob Blanchflower, TE, Massachusetts


BALTIMORE RAVENS   –   GM  –  Ozzie Newsome   –   Overall Grade   (B+)

1ST – 17TH – C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama

2nd – 48th –  Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State

3rd – 79th – Terrence Brooks, FS, Florida State

3rd – 99th –  Crockett Gillmore, TE, Colorado State

4th – 134th –  Brent Urban, DE, Virginia

4th – 138th –  Lorenzo Taliaferro, RB, Coastal Carolina

5th – 175th –  John Urschel, OG, Penn State

6th – 194th – Keith Wenning, QB, Ball State

7th – 218th –  Michael Campanaro, WR, Wake Forest


CINCINNATI BENGALS   –   GM   –   Mike Brown   –   Overall Grade   (B)

1st – 24th – Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State

2nd – 55th –  Jeremy Hill, RB, LSU

3rd – 88th –  Will Clarke, DE, West Virginia

4th – 111th –  Russell Bodine, C, North Carolina

5th – 164th – AJ McCarron, QB, Alabama

6th – 212th –  Marquis Flowers, OLB, Arizona

7th – 239th –  James Wright, WR, LSU

7th – 252nd –  Lavelle Westbrooks, CB, Georgia Southern




Call me crazy if you want and lord knows I’ve been called worse, but let me be the first to throw this out there, I think Dan Gilbert and the Cavaliers should hire Mike D’Antoni as Mike Brown’s offensive coordinator now that he is no longer the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.

If your Dan, you go to Mike and say, your still my head coach, but I’m going to get you some help on offense and bring in one of the best offensive basketball minds out there to make us better as a team. That way you can focus on what you love – DEFENSE, as well as being the head coach and let D’Antoni work with the players on offense.

I thought D’Antoni was a bad hire for the head coaching job in L.A., but I have always respected his offensive mind. When he was the head man in Phoenix his teams were always fun to watch because of how potent they were on offense. Not only did those Suns teams score a lot of points led by a ball dominate point guard in Steve Nash, they also were pretty good, reaching the Western Conference Finals twice. But when you thought of the Suns you thought offense.

Mike Krzyzewski thought enough of D’Antoni and his offensive mind to have him on his USA Men’s Basketball staff as an assistant coach for the team that won Olympic gold medals in 2008 and 2012. Besides dealing with mega superstars in the Olympics and while with the Suns and Lakers, don’t forget D’Antoni also was the head coach in New York with Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks and also in Denver.

So if indeed Dan Gilbert will do anything to help the Cavs win a championship and Mike Brown’s goal is to make the Cavaliers better and win a championship, then why not go and offer one of the best offensive basketball minds around a job as an assistant coach with the Cavs and put him in charge of helping this team score points.

Granted D’Antoni may turn the offer down. If he does, at least you made an effort. But if you’re the Cavs and you’re watching teams like Washington and Toronto pass you during the regular season and win playoff games in the post-season, don’t you owe it to the organization, the players, the fans, this city to try everything you can to improve this squad and make them a playoff and championship contending team again?

Yes you do!


Fred and I look back at the 2013-14 season and look at the Cavs future

Kyrie Irving In Game Photo - Wide Shot