David Griffin On Hot Seat After Pelicans’ Poor Start, Drama With Ex-Coach

Pelicans executive VP of basketball operations David Griffin has had three coaches in three years and once traded Anthony Davis to the Lakers.David Griffin

Injuries have a played a big role, but the Pelicans’ embarrassing 1-11 at least partially falls on Griffin. Also, Griffin reportedly had a “heated exchange” with ex-Pelicans coach and current Kings assistant Alvin Gentry recently.

So for Griffin, long gone are the days of LeBron James and helping to deliver a championship to the Cavaliers back in 2016.

And now, Griffin’s job status is becoming increasingly flimsy, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report

This comes two months after Christian Clark of NOLA.com described Griffin’s relationship with young star Zion Williamson as somewhat frosty. 

As for the coaches, Griffin parted ways with Gentry two years ago, then fired Stan Van Gundy after one year at the end of last season. Griffin then hired Suns assistant Willie Green, now in his first season as a head coach at any level.

Per Fischer, Griffin and Gentry had to be “physically separated” after a shouting match that was a result of the NOLA.com article.

“The aftermath of that event has seemed to ripple around the league, leading to increased whispers about the future of New Orleans without Griffin at the helm of the Pelicans basketball operations,” Fischer wrote. “League observers have noted New Orleans’ repeated appearances in national television games, that were supposed to feature Williamson, have cast a far larger spotlight on the Pelicans’ losing dynamic than otherwise would have existed.”

Along with all that, some around the organization fear that the injured Williamson may not return until late December or early January. Small forward Brandon Ingram, who arrived as part of the Davis package in 2019, has also missed time.

In the event all that weren’t enough, retired shooting guard J.J. Redick trashed Griffin after being traded from the Pelicans to the Mavericks in February.

“I don’t think you’re going to get honesty from that front office, objectively speaking,” Redick said on the Old Man and The Three podcast. “That’s not an opinion, I just don’t think you’re gonna get that. I don’t think what happened with me is necessarily an isolated incident. I think front offices around the league operate in their best interest. I get that. I understand that.

“Truthfully… I think I was a little naive thinking I was in Year 15 and I attempted to do things right throughout my career. But in terms of this front office, yeah, it’s not something where I would expect certainly the agents who worked on this with me to ever trust that front office again.”

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