Grant Gilbert Rumors
“He’s definitely gonna take over,” said one source, who does business constantly with Cavs’ basketball operations. “His dad’s not able, and he’s the next in line.” “Gilbert’s son is running the show behind the scenes,” said a second league source. “Grant’s trying to take a bigger role,” said a third source with knowledge of the Cavs’ operations. “But (he has) zero experience.”
The Cavs vigorously refute this, but even their pushback against it is nuanced. They say the “culture” Dan Gilbert created is still very much in place, and he remains at the center of it. They say he has “great ideas,” and they insist Dan, not Grant, is the boss. “His presence may not physically be in Cleveland like it was prior to (the stroke), coming into 30-plus games a year or whatever it was, but his presence in the business, in the culture, and kind of how we’re operating, he’s absolutely still the author of all those things,” said Nick Barlage, who serves as president of Cavs’ business operations.
Gilbert isn’t the stereotypical entitled, bratty rich kid. Those who know him gush about his manners and how eager he is to learn. “Just a good dude,” said one Cavs player. “He’s not what you’d expect,” said another source who has known Grant for years. “I’ve always found him to be extremely polite, very intelligent and very respectful. He was always a good kid.” “He’s a quick learner and pursues what he doesn’t know,” said Barlage, who oversees the Cavs’ business operations. “He has a natural curiosity that takes flight from a foundation of a very humanistic and normal approach. That’s a tribute to how he has been raised and who he is as a person.”
Enter Grant, who already has a job with the Cavs, and it’s no entry-level position. He is the team’s director of content and brand strategy, which is on the business side of the organization but consults enough with the basketball operations side to be “in the know” on what general manager Koby Altman and staff are up to.
When it comes to the question of his future inside his father’s organization, and whether he’ll one day take over, Grant insists he is not “on a linear path” to assuming his father’s seat. He humbly points to his age, his inexperience and a full life he has yet to lead. In other words, he doesn’t know if this is even a job he wants. “That’s not my everyday focus,” Grant said. “I’m not making decisions and planning my life based on that. There are a lot of things I want to do. I’m sure there are a lot of things I don’t know that I want to do that, hopefully, I’ll end up doing. But in terms of staying engaged and helping impact and being involved (with the Cavs), that’s something I want to do for the rest of my life.”