WASHINGTON: It’s quite apparent by this point that Mike Brown and Chris Grant simply weren’t destined to work together. The two were close friends and college teammates at the University of San Diego, but Brown was fired four years ago just weeks before Grant was promoted to general manager.
Grant was fired Thursday less than four months into their tenure together this time.
“It was a very tough situation,” Brown said. “Especially how close we are, there’s a little bit more [feelings] coming my way than maybe anybody else. Because of the friendship, there’s an added personal effect to the whole situation.”
Grant was fired by Dan Gilbert while the players were on the floor practicing Thursday. They learned of the decision before boarding a flight to Washington for the game Friday against the Wizards. Some of the players were emotional over the decision and were even driven to tears, two team sources said.
“Everybody was saddened by it,” Dion Waiters said. “Some of it you think, ‘Is it our fault for the way we’ve been playing that a man lost his job?’ A lot goes into consideration when you think about those types of things, especially for a guy who believed in me and made my dreams come true.”
C.J. Miles said he was grateful to Grant for giving him another chance. Miles was coming off a terrible shooting season his final year with the Utah Jazz and was struggling to find another place to play. He has resurrected his reputation the last two seasons with the Cavs.
“CG gave me a chance,” Miles said. “He brought me here to come in and remind people I could still play. He was a great guy, a good dude outside of business, too. He did some good things for me, helped me out a lot as far as coming here, presenting me with the opportunity to play basketball, start something new and start something exciting. I thank him for that.”
Gilbert endorsed Brown as his coach at during the news conference Thursday and insisted that he believes Brown will win this season.
“You appreciate it, but the only thing I can control is working to get this team better, working on our execution on both ends of the floor,” Brown said. “That’s my primary focus.”
Andrew Bynum held his first news conference Friday since signing with the Indiana Pacers. It was the first time he spoke about why it didn’t work with the Cavaliers.
“It wasn’t that it didn’t work,” he told Indianapolis writers. “It’s just the atmosphere over there wasn’t the one that kind of promoted positive energy in wanting to come in and really — it was just tough at the end of the day.”
As he did when he was here, Bynum praised the medical staff for reviving his career.
“They did everything they could for me and I went there and worked hard, got myself into shape and that was the goal,” he said.
Miles caught the wrath of Laker Nation after he wrapped up Nick Young on a foul. Young injured his knee on the play and will miss the next two weeks, then Young said he wanted to egg Miles’ house for injuring him. One Lakers fanatic on Twitter asked Miles to tweet out his location so he could go find him. … The Cavs game against the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday will air on NBA TV because it was selected by the fans. … Mike Brown’s son, Elijah, and his Butler teammates attended the game Friday at Verizon Center. They were in town to play at Georgetown in the same building Saturday.
Jason Lloyd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.