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Sources: Cavaliers’ Pursuit Of Kentucky Coach John Calipari Preceded GM Hire

By Joe Lull, 92.3 The Fan
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Kentucky head coach John Calipari / (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Kentucky head coach John Calipari / (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

JoePic Joe Lull
Joe Lull has been part of the Cleveland sports media scene since 2004,...
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CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – The Cleveland Cavaliers pursuit of Kentucky’s John Calipari preceded their hiring of a general manager last month, according to high-ranking league sources.

Multiple national outlets reported today that the Cavaliers offered Calipari a multi-year contract worth over $60 million to become head coach and team president. In such an arrangement, Calipari would have wielded final say on personnel decisions, presumably leading to an awkward set-up with general manager David Griffin, who became the Cavaliers full-time general manager on May 12.

Contrary to reports, the Cavaliers’ courtship of Calipari never reached a point where an actual offer was on the table. According to sources with intimate knowledge of the situation, Calipari joining the Cavaliers “had zero chance of happening as of three weeks ago.”

Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert has become a convenient punching bag for fans and media, as his team has failed to qualify for the postseason since LeBron James’s departure. Gilbert is on his fourth general manager since buying the team in 2005, while the organization is looking to hire its sixth coach in the same period.

On Monday, twitter and talk shows ran rampant with the story that Gilbert’s pursuit of Calipari was a classic example of a meddlesome owner undermining his new general manager after less than a full-month on the job.

Yet the explosive story is not the entire story.

While Gilbert did pursue Calipari in the weeks before Griffin’s hiring, there have been no discussions in recent weeks about bringing in a team president, nor has Gilbert conducted a clandestine coaching search behind the back of his general manager.

The Cavaliers will round up their first round of interviews with coaching candidates this week before setting up second interviews with multiple candidates.

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