David Griffin Rumors
After seven seasons in New Orleans, Holiday was finally ready for a change of scenery and desperately wanted to contend for a title. A source with knowledge of his situation said Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations Dave Griffin was given a list of preferred destinations that included more than five teams, including the Bucks, and Holiday was ecstatic when the word came that he was Milwaukee bound. Five months later, Holiday and the Bucks would come to terms on a four-year, $160 million extension that showed yet again that the Bucks’ ownership group, headed by Marc Lasry and Wes Edens, was willing to cut the kinds of enormous checks necessary to up their odds of winning it all.
In those talks, which included a dinner in Chicago, Griffin previewed the same level of influence he has utilized throughout the executive’s tenure in New Orleans, where members of Van Gundy’s coaching staff and Alvin Gentry’s before his often mentioned Griffin’s preferred involvement in areas such as minutes, rotations and skill development, primarily for the players he has drafted since 2019. With Vaughn, sources said, Griffin had specific ideas to fill out the coach’s entire assistant group, envisioning Bucks assistant Charles Lee as the associate head coach, plus a starting backcourt of Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Kira Lewis.
Last week, Stan Van Gundy said he and David Griffin “weren’t on the same page” in New Orleans. Tuesday, he elaborated on their philosophical differences. In an appearance on the Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz, Van Gundy said one of Griffin’s main concerns was the “atmosphere” around the team. Van Gundy said he was most concerned by what happened in between the lines.
“I felt that the focus should be on what went on on the court,” Van Gundy said. “What was good. What was bad. All of that. I think Griff was concerned with the atmosphere around the team and the happiness of people and things like that. I think that was probably the biggest difference. If I would’ve gone into a meeting and somebody were to say, ‘Hey, you were 31-41, and that’s not good enough,’ I have no problem with that. That’s what we sign up for in this business. Regardless of circumstances, that’s what we sign up for in this business. But that’s not what it came down to or what I heard.”
Van Gundy said he thinks he and the Pelicans will be happier in the long run that their marriage dissolved so quickly. “It will be better for everybody,” Van Gundy said. “You certainly need alignment between your coach and your front office. It’ll be better for everybody, I think. My wife and I will move on with our life and be very, very happy.”