The Cleveland Cavaliers made a big change with another season falling apart, firing general manager Chris Grant on Thursday.
Grant was fired a day after the Cavs dropped their sixth straight game, an embarrassing home loss to a Los Angeles Lakers team that started with eight players and finished with five. Vice president of basketball operations David Griffin will serve as acting general manager.
“Chris always conducted himself with class, integrity and was motivated by what he believed was right for the organization,” said Gilbert in a statement Thursday. “We wish Chris and his family the best in the years to come.”
The Cavaliers are just 16-33 and riding a six-game losing streak that included a 119-108 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday. They entered Thursday’s action 5 1/2 games out of a playoff spot in the lowly Eastern Conference.
“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.”
Grant originally joined the franchise as assistant general manager in July 2005 and had been the GM since June 4, 2010 when he took over for Danny Ferry. Just a month into his tenure, LeBron James left as a free agent for Miami and Cleveland has been rebuilding ever since.
“This has been a very difficult period for the franchise. We have severely underperformed against expectations,” Gilbert added. “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. 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.”
The Cavs have yet to reach the playoffs since James went to the Heat, finishing with a losing record in each of the last three seasons.
Griffin joined the Cavs in September 2010 after 17 seasons with the Phoenix Suns.