The Cleveland Cavaliers experienced a busy week interviewing candidates for the head coaching position. Two highly regarded options include Adrian Griffin and Tyronn Lue. The three veteran interviewees include: Lionel Hollins, Vinny Del Negro, and Alvin Gentry.
The first interview was held with Adrian Griffin. The 39 year old played for five teams throughout a nine year career. Being a former professional helps form a connection with the players. Griffin holds no coaching experience, but has been under Tom Thibodeau’s tutelage since 2010. Despite never coaching before, the NBA journeyman earned a doctorate in leadership studies. Unfortunately, Griffin has a defensive minded influence which is something the Cavs couldn’t previously succeed with.
Next, we have another assistant coach with no experience controlling the reigns. Tyronn Lue is another former journeyman who played for seven teams in 11 seasons, most recently, with the Orlando Magic in 2008. Lue joined the Boston Celtics front office from 2009-11 before finding a sideline opportunity. Tyronn Lue has learned from Doc Rivers ever since. The type of coach the 37 year old will become has yet to be determined, but he has learned from a great mentor.
Speaking of mentorship, Lionel Hollins is an outstanding coaching candidate. The 60 year old turned around a struggling Memphis franchise. After compiling a 56-26 record and reaching the Western Conference Finals for the first time in Grizzlies history, the head coach was shockingly relieved of his duties. Hollins is a great coach with a respectable resume, but his defensive tactics are unlikely to rebound the Cavaliers.
Surprisingly, Vinny Del Negro snagged himself an interview, pushing back the Hollins meeting. Del Negro has five years of coaching under his belt and, like Hollins, was fired despite a playoff run. The Clippers fired him after a first round playoff exit despite a 56-26 record. However, the 47 year old’s candidacy shouldn’t come as a complete shock considering his ties to newly appointed Cavs General Manager, David Griffin. The former point guard was a broadcaster, director of player personnel, and assistant General Manager of the Phoenix Suns before joining the coaching ranks.
Another man with a David Griffin association would be Alvin Gentry, who currently is the Head Assistant Coach for the Los Angeles Clippers. Gentry owns more than enough credentials to be considered for the Cavs open position. The 59 year old studied under the offensive genius of Mike D’Antoni before taking over the Suns. In three seasons at the throne, his team ranked first, ninth, and eighth in offensive efficiency.
Overall, I believe the Cavaliers need a veteran coach with a resume. I have personally endorsed George Karl, but he hasn’t been granted an interview. Alvin Gentry is my next target. His offensive philosophies are intriguing considering no one has been able to unlock Kyrie Irving’s full potential and get the most out of him.
Whatever happens, the Cleveland Cavaliers must choose wisely, not hastily.
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