August 20, 2014

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Cavaliers begin interview process, meet with Bulls assistant Adrian Griffin

The Cavaliers interviewed their first head coaching candidate Tuesday evening, with more to follow soon.

Bulls assistant Adrian Griffin met with Cleveland, according to multiple reports, with Clippers assistant Tyronn Lue and former Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins scheduled to be interviewed by the Cavs this week.

The Cavs have also asked for permission to speak with Clippers assistant Alvin Gentry, but it is not known if an interview has been scheduled.

University of Florida officials said the Cavs have not asked for permission to speak with coach Billy Donovan, according to reports. Donovan’s name surfaced last week as a possible replacement for Mike Brown, who was fired May 12 after going 33-49 in the first season of his second stint with the Cavs.

Griffin, who will turn 40 on July 4, is an assistant on defensive-minded Tom Thibodeau’s staff in Chicago. He is said to be close with Cavs small forward Luol Deng, who will become an unrestricted free agent July 1.

Griffin, a hard-working but marginally talented small forward, spent time with Boston, Dallas, Houston, Chicago and Seattle in a playing career that ended in 2008.

The 37-year-old Lue has worked as an assistant to highly regarded Doc Rivers with the Celtics and Clippers.

The 6-foot former point guard, who had a number of good games against the Cavs while with the Hawks, also played for the Lakers, Wizards, Magic, Rockets, Mavericks and Bucks in a career that ended in 2009.

Hollins, 60, served as an interim head coach for Vancouver in 1999-2000 and for Memphis in 2004-05. He was the Grizzlies’ head coach from 2008-13 and owns a 214-201 career record.

Considered a disciplinarian and defensive-minded coach, Hollins led the Grizzlies to the playoffs his last three seasons. Memphis lost in the Western Conference finals in 2012-13 and in the conference semifinals in 2010-11.

Hollins played point guard in the NBA for 10 seasons and was a member of Portland’s 1976-77 championship team.

Gentry, 59, owns a 335-370 record in 12 years as a coach with the Pistons, Clippers, Suns and Heat (interim). He worked with Cavs general manager David Griffin in Phoenix, leading the Suns to a 54-28 record and the conference finals in 2009-10. Gentry also coached in the playoffs with Detroit in 1998-99.

Hollins and Gentry are also in the mix for the Lakers’ job, but former Cavs coach Byron Scott is considered the front-runner.

Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com. Fan him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter @RickNoland.

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