After years of playing abysmal basketball and shuffling coaches, the Cleveland Cavaliers are undoubtedly trending in the right direction this season.
The Cavs have a bunch of rising young stars, such as Evan Mobley, Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen. In addition, the organization recently made a couple of key long-term moves by extending the contracts of J.B. Bickerstaff and Koby Altman.
According to Jason Lloyd of The Athletic, the Cavs’ changing philosophy has been a result of owner Dan Gilbert’s dramatic shift of life events and involvement with the franchise.
“Those who know him continue to insist Gilbert isn’t the same person since the debilitating stroke he suffered in May 2019,” Lloyd wrote. “He rarely makes public appearances anymore. He sold his interest in the Cleveland casino and racino after he fought so hard to pass legislation for their construction a decade earlier (although his motivation to sell pre-dated the stroke). He took Quicken Loans public, something he swore for years he would never do. And then there are the Cavs.
“For years, Gilbert was the fuel that propelled the organization for better or worse. He isn’t as connected to the team now and isn’t as intimately involved as he once was, according to sources. His son, Grant, joined the organization as the team’s director of content and brand strategy following his graduation from Michigan. The Athletic reported last year it is widely believed in league circles Grant is the heir apparent to his father in running the team, although that day has not yet arrived. Dan Gilbert is still in charge; he just isn’t ruling with quite as heavy of a hand as he once did.”
Surely, the Cavs are heading in the right direction. The team hasn’t made the playoffs since the 2017-18 season, which was also the last time LeBron James was on the roster.
Now, that trend looks like it is set to be broken. The Cavs hold the No. 6 spot in the Eastern Conference with a 24-18 record this season.