Former Suns executive David Griffin on growing up a Phoenix fan

Jul 24, 2016, 7:00 PM | Updated: 7:11 pm

David Griffin was a member of the Phoenix Suns organization for 17 seasons. He began as a media relations intern in 1993 and progressed through the ranks to the team’s senior vice president of basketball operations for his final three years.

Griffin, who is the Cleveland Cavaliers general manager and just won the 2016 NBA Finals, talked with Adrian Wojnarowski on The Vertical Podcast about his inspiration to do front office work.

“There’s a family legend in my house that when I was 6 years old when the Suns lost Game 6 to the Boston Celtics (in 1976),” Griffin said. “I stand up in tears and run out of the room saying, ‘I’m going to be a general manager someday and win a championship. I’m going to be better than Jerry Colangelo.'”

Griffin often reflects on his time with the Suns and told Wojnarowski about the difficulties the organization faced at the end of his tenure in 2010.

“We had two distinct groups when Robert Sarver bought the team where Jerry and Bryan Colangelo were still running it,” Griffin said. “When Steve Kerr came on board, things were done a little bit differently. In both circumstances, there was a feeling of, ‘We can’t do this under these circumstances.'”

“In Kerr’s time, if you manufacture enough joy and make your culture about what people want to be a part of, the people are going to continue to want to be a part of it. Steve just embodies that and he’s carried that with him to Golden State.”

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