Cavaliers GM David Griffin said all-star point guard Kyrie Irving did not influence Monday's coaching change.
INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving had nothing to do with Monday's firing of coach Mike Brown, new general manager David Griffin said in his introductory press conference at Cleveland Clinic Courts Tuesday.
Griffin pounded his hand on the desk while calling any suggestion of Irving influencing the coaching change "patently false."
"Any insinuation that Kyrie Irving had anything to do with this decision is patently false. It's unfair," Griffin said, emphatically. "He was not counseled on this decision, nor was he counseled on the previous coaching decision. It's a completely unfair assertion, and one that I want to everyone to understand very clearly. That is not a narrative that we're going to go with."
Under Brown, who was in his second tenure as Cavaliers head coach this past season, the team went 33-49, including a 14-27 mark in games away from Quicken Loans Arena. The decision to relieve him of his coaching duties was "collaborative," according to Griffin.
"This is not about anything that anyone has done wrong," Griffin said. "This is about moving forward as a collective, and being in unison and lock step as we do so. What was done was in an effort to ensure that we made the greatest strides as quickly as possible to reach the level of success that's necessary.
"There's no precise timetable. We do not feel that this is a race. This is not about being first. It's about getting it right. At the same time, if the right candidate that did meet the criteria that we set out is available and is as interested in us as we are in them, then, we would act at the time it presented itself."
Griffin has been a part of a coaching change before, as he helped former Phoenix Suns general manager Steve Kerr replace Mike D'Antoni. And when making his pitch for the new coach of the Cavaliers, Griffin plans to emphasize the opportunity to change around the fortunes of a franchise that has not made the playoffs in four years.
"Ownership's unwavering support has never changed," Griffin said. "This is not, sometimes, a lack of stability as much as it is a function of a lack of fit. All of these things have led us to this point. This is going to be something, on the court and off the court.
"Fit extends to every decision we make. It extends to what we're going to do to augment our front office. It extends to what we're going to do to augment our roster. From a stability standpoint, we have the complete faith and confidence from ownership to deliver those things, and that's all you can ask for as a franchise. We do have that stability. We do have that backing, constantly. More importantly, we have the backing of a fan base that's absolutely boundless."
Griffin confirmed the Cavaliers began the search for Brown's replacement Monday, and the team will continue to do its due-diligence in researching any possible candidate in order to find the best fit for the future of the franchise.
"We're not going to rule out any coach at any level," Griffin said. "College experience will not be something that's ruled out. Being a head coach in the NBA is not something that will be ruled out. We're going to be very open-minded in that way.
"I've had a primarily offensive-based focus with the people that I was raised by, and I think it's fair to say that the Cavaliers have had a defensive focus. What excited me most about coming here was I believe you find the truth in the middle.
"No franchise that's incredibly well-run is all one thing. We need to find a way to speak to the best parts of the offensive background I know and the defensive background that's dyed in the wool of this franchise. Ownership believes in defense, I believe in offense, and there's a truth in the middle. We're going to find that."