Koby Altman Rumors
While the Cavs were struggling in late December through early January, LeBron James questioned Koby Altman’s absentee status on a long Cleveland road trip, team sources told ESPN. It was a big difference from David Griffin, who was in constant communication with James in their three seasons in Cleveland together. Altman had his reasons, however. For one, he and his fiancée welcomed the birth of their first child, who experienced health complications, and Altman was there for his family as a father. Also, unlike in years past, the Cavs had two first-round draft picks to prepare for in the 2018 NBA draft. Altman’s scouting duties were more involved than Griffin’s were in the past. The fact that Altman went to James prior to the trade deadline for a sit-down meeting to loop in his superstar about the potential deals the Cavs would swing, as earlier reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, was seen as progress.
On the conference call announcing the trade, Cavs general manager Koby Altman said you were emotional when you found out you were heading to Cleveland. What was going through your head when you realized you were joining the Cavs? Larry Nance Jr: Yeah, I think he basically said I was crying and that’s a bit of a stretch (laughs). But I was excited! I don’t think anybody wants to get traded, but if I had to go anywhere, it doesn’t get much better than going home to play for a championship contender. I knew that it would probably be a good thing going forward, so I was definitely excited when I talked to him. Koby is a really good dude and we had a good talk.
Once Altman raised the idea with Wade and his agent, Leon Rose, there was no hesitation. Soon, all of the deals were done. Thomas, Frye and Shumpert were headed West, Wade had gone home and now everything had changed in Cleveland. Finally, Altman and his staff stood to let out a yell, hug and high-five. Whatever happens, they knew this: In one of the most impactful trade deadline days ever, Koby Altman and the Cleveland Cavaliers weren’t prepared to extinguish an era. Twenty-four hours had changed everything.
Dave McMenamin: Heard from a league executive about the new-look Cavs tonight and he had heavy praise for Cleveland rookie GM Koby Altman: “He should take a bow after that. That was a heck of day. That wasn’t a home run. That was a grand slam.”
“I gave him a hard time for that because that’s not true,” Nance said after his first Cavs practice on Saturday. “I was excited, absolutely. I was super excited. We had a good conversation. He could tell I was excited, he was excited about bringing me here. This is home. There was a little bit of extra emotion, but not teary. I’m more of a man than that.”
Dave McMenamin: Strong words from Cleveland GM Koby Altman on a media conference call about the culture of the Cavs he felt he had to change: “We felt like we were on a slow death march and that’s not something I wanted to be a part of”