NBA Q&A: Cavaliers GM Chris Grant

Posted by Unknown on Thursday, January 30, 2014 with No comments
Courtesy of Mary Schmitt Boyer

On whether he's happy with the progress/development of Kyrie Irving: 

"Yeah, I really am. He's a special young talent, and I think we see him growing and maturing constantly. Even in the last two weeks, I've seen a different guy, a different person, trying to lead and do things. Losing hurts him just as much, if not more, than anyone. He's growing, he's learning, we're pushing him, he's trying to get better. I've seen him grown in the last two weeks.''

On whether he thinks Irving understands the importance of defense: 

"I do. Watching him play, particularly in the last couple weeks, I think there's a different focus to him, which you start to see in players in their third year. I think he and Tristan [Thompson] both played half an NBA season their first year, with no summer league and no training camp because of the lockout. So they're not quite into their third year, but I think we've seen it from both of them, stepping up at that level and it becoming more important, which is great. It coincided with Mike [taking over]. Mike is demanding a lot more of those guys, and they have a lot more expectations on both ends of the court offensively and defensively demanded of them. I think Kyrie, Tristan, Dion [Waiters], a lot of the younger guys, see that, feel it and are starting to step up to it.''

On whether something specific bothers him about how the team plays: 

"Not necessarily. We’ve seen the guys do it. We’ve seen guys play and execute and try to do the things coaches are asking them to do. When you have a team you’re trying to establish the foundation and grow and do things, there’s times of adversity. There’s times when it’s hard. That’s when it’s time to bear down, work and get after it.

"That’s what we have to do right now. We owe that to our fans. We’re all accountable for it. Everybody wants to win, every coach, the front office, all the way down."

On why the Cavs haven't sent Anthony Bennett to the D-League: 

"Our priority with him has been if he has the opportunity to play here, I’d like him to play here. Certainly up until a week or so ago, he was in and out of the rotation and if that’s the case, that’s the priority. I want him to be here. Not to say he would never play in Canton or any of our players.

"I think the minor league system is an awesome opportunity, not just for young players but guys coming back from injuries or guys who aren’t able to practice you can send them down to practice. He may play in Canton, our other guys might play in Canton, but right now if he has an opportunity to play for this team, I think the priority should be here for him working with our coaches, being on the floor getting those experiences.

"Last night was great. He performed well and played well and you could tell he was ready for the opportunity.''

On whether these players hate to lose:

"Yeah, I think they do. Being with them on a daily basis and talking with the guys individually, yeah, I don't think any of the guys like to lose. Certainly you walk on the court as a competitor or as a coach or the front office, we're all accountable for the wins and the losses. Nobody likes to lose and fans deserve more than that. We need to do a better job and we've got to get out of this stretch and get back to playing better basketball."

On the team's culture, one of his signature concepts: 

"Certainly when you lose games, when you’re playing poorly and going through tough times, people always tend to question those things. That’s when you have to rely on the things we’re trying to build and install and the foundation. You see our guys in practice today they had a very competitive, good practice. Guys are bought in, they’re watching film, they’re getting after each other. Guys are still coming early and working. You see positive signs during tough times, those are pretty good indicators.''