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Cavs GM David Griffin: 'I would've talked to John Calipari if I was them'

By James Herbert | NBA writer

Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin appeared on The Doug Gottlieb Show on Wednesday, and he said that he didn't feel like the organization went over his head when talking to University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari.

"To be honest with you, I don't think anything was ever done without my knowledge of what was being done, for one," Griffin said. "And two, I turned down opportunities to be a GM because the fit wasn't right, and when I sat with Dan [Gilbert] and Nate [Forbes], when we talked about our vision for the future and me having this job, I encouraged them to talk to other people. It was something that was really important to me.

"I would've talked to John Calipari if I was them," Griffin continued. "I would've been disappointed if they didn't. So it didn't bother me in the least."

Reports in June indicated that Cleveland was prepared to give Calipari a lucrative, long-term deal to possibly become president and head coach of the team. That would mean having final say in roster decisions over Griffin. Calipari, though, decided to stay in Lexington, and has since said he would have done the same thing even if he knew LeBron James would be going home.

There's no reason for Griffin, who became acting GM in February and had his interim tag removed in May, to say anything controversial here. You'd think, though, that after spending 17 years with the Phoenix Suns and four years with the Cavs, he was excited about being the main decision-maker. At the same time, maybe he thought Calipari would have given the team a better chance to sign James. It ended up happening anyway, but that was the conventional wisdom at the time.

Griffin also told Gottlieb that, when he took over as acting GM, his goal was "to start to build a team that was an ensemble cast around the ball-dominant play creation we had in Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters." Now with James and fellow superstar Kevin Love in the picture, Cleveland has quite the ensemble.

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