Chris Grant, general manager of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, and Mike Brown, whom Grant hired in April as the Cavaliers’ head coach, are reunited once again. The pair (pictured at USD’s Alumni Honors event last May with former USD Basketball Head Coach Hank Egan) began building the road back to hardwood prominence by selecting Anthony Bennett with the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NBA draft.
Grant, who earned both a psychology degree in 1994 and a master’s in education leadership in 1996 from USD, knows there’s always increased scrutiny with the first overall selection, but he’s convinced Bennett is a star in the making. “As we did our evaluations throughout the entire year, we just kept coming back to his ability and his talent, and how it fit with our guys,” Grant says. “He’s a great kid who is willing to do the right things, and he’s got a bunch of talent.”
Brown, a 1993 USD business administration graduate, is back with the Cavaliers for a second time. His career coaching record (314-167) ranks him sixth all-time in NBA history in win percentage (.652). He also was named NBA Coach of the Year in 2009 during his first tenure with the Cavaliers. “I’m really excited about this opportunity to work with Chris and the entire Cleveland organization,” Brown says. “We accomplished some great things here before, and I know we can do it again.”