For 17 seasons, David Griffin was a part of the Phoenix Suns organization, rising from the ranks of an intern in 1993 to the vice president of basketball operations when he left in 2010.
Now the interim general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers, he has a unique perspective on what’s happening in the Valley.
A guest of Burns and Gambo’s on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Wednesday, he said their success really isn’t much of a surprise within NBA circles.
“I don’t know who thought they were going to be one of the worst teams in the league,” Griffin said. “Nobody who knew the league and knew their talent really believed that.”
Griffin said the Suns were (and are) a young team, but that they got a real good coach in Jeff Hornacek to guide it.
“He’s somebody who’s running a lot of the Cotton Fitzsimmons things that he played in and had great success with,” Griffin added. “And the Suns organization has always been about open-floor basketball and about playing the game unselfishly, so Jeff has certainly brought that in.”
Griffin, though, made sure to commend the job his counterpart in Phoenix has done to reshape the roster and build a winner. After winning just 25 games last season, the Suns are already at 36 victories with 19 games remaining in the season. They are currently one game back of a Western Conference playoff spot.
“Ryan McDonough, the GM, has done an absolutely spectacular job,” he said. “If he doesn’t get several votes for Executive of the Year, people just aren’t paying attention.”