Chicago Bulls v Portland Trail Blazers

Report: Adrian Griffin ‘a top candidate’ to fill Cavaliers coaching vacancy


In danger of losing their small forward in free agency, the Cavaliers fired their coach and are seeking a replacement who appeases their top player.

Haven’t we been here before?

This, the stakes are a little lower. Luol Deng (not LeBron James) is the free agent small forward, and Kyrie Irving (not LeBron) is Cleveland’s reportedly disgruntled top player. And the fired coach, well, that’s still Mike Brown.

But it’s still on new Cavaliers general manager David Griffin to find a coach to lead Cleveland into the playoffs for the first time since LeBron left. Maybe that’s someone who coached Deng in Chicago.

Jeff Zillgitt and Sam Amico of USA TODAY:

According to a person close to the situation, Chicago Bulls assistant coach Adrian Griffin has emerged as a top candidate for the job.

An NBA insider, speaking with Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN, described Adrian Griffin as “a player-friendly Tom Thibodeau.” That’s a pretty great label to have, and if the Cavaliers find it accurate, they should Griffin on the spot.

Of course, there’s a long history of assistant coaches being described as player friendly and struggling to relate to players as a head coach. Often, an assistant’s role is to play good cop, and not everyone can make the transition to being the stricter head coach.

I tend to believe Griffin – who played for the Celtics, Mavericks, Rockets, Bulls and SuperSonics during his nine-year career – could, but that belief might not be enough to get him a job this offseason.

With established coaches like Stan Van Gundy, Lionel Hollins, George Karl and Mark Jackson available, it’s a buyers’ market. Unless the Cavaliers really like Griffin and/or want to save money by hiring a lesser-known candidate – either of which is a reasonable position – it might make sense to pluck a coach with a proven track record of success.

Griffin is just 39. With the Cavaliers now or elsewhere later, he’ll get a head-coaching job at some point.

Report: Matt Barnes texted friend that he beat up Derek Fisher, spat in wife’s face

Derek Fisher, Matt Barnes, Russell Westbrook
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Grizzlies forward Matt Barnes reportedly attacked Knicks coach Derek Fisher for dating his estranged wife, Gloria Govan.

New details are emerging, and they cast Barnes in an even worse light.

Ian Mohr of the New York Post:

Sources told The Post that Barnes became incensed when his 6-year-old twin sons, Carter and Isaiah, called to tell him that Fisher was at the house.

Following the dust-up, Barnes, 35, texted a pal that he had not only assaulted Fisher, 41, but also took revenge on Govan, one source said.

“I kicked his ass from the back yard to the front room, and spit in her face,” the text read, according to the source.

If this becomes a criminal case, Barnes’ text could incriminate him.

In the court of public opinion, the presence of Barnes’ children and his spitting in his wife’s face make this even more disturbing.

Unfortunately, not everyone views it that way. Too many are laughing off the incident.

Albert Burneko of Deadspin had the best take I’ve seen on this situation:

When an accused domestic abuser shows up uninvited at a family party to—as a source put it to the New York Post—“beat the shit” out of someone for the offense of dating his ex, that is not a wacky character up to zany shenanigans. It is not reality TV melodrama or a cartoon or celebrities being silly. It is the behavior of a dangerous misogynist lunatic. It is an act of violent aggression. It is a man forcefully asserting personal property rights over a woman’s home, body, and life. It differs from what Ray Rice did in that elevator by degree, not by kind, and not by all that much.

I suggest reading it in full.