The Washington Wizards’ list of head coach interviewees keeps getting bigger. According to Troy Haliburton, they interviewed Toronto Raptors assistant coach Adrian Griffin.
Raptors assistant coach Adrian Griffin interviewed for the Wizards head coaching vacancy per a source.— Troy Haliburton + (@TroyHalibur) July 13, 2021
Griffin has been an assistant coach since he retired from the NBA as a player in 2008. He has been in Toronto since the 2018-19 season when they won an NBA championship and is the lead assistant on Nick Nurse’s staff. He has also worked for the Milwaukee Bucks, Chicago Bulls, Orlando Magic and Oklahoma City Thunder. His stops in Orlando and Oklahoma City were also as lead assistant coaches.
It should also be notable that in Oklahoma City from 2016-18, Griffin also worked with Russell Westbrook, whom the Wizards are trying to keep happy, in part because Scott Brooks is no longer the head coach in Washington.
As a player, Griffin played nine NBA seasons and was also played several seasons in the Continental Basketball League where he led the Connecticut Pride to the league championship in 1998-99. He was also the MVP and Finals MVP that season.
Of all the candidates whom the Wizards have been reportedly looking at, Griffin seems to have the most experience as a lead assistant. It will be interesting to see if Griffin is in the second round of interviewees (since that isn’t clear). And if he is, it will be very interesting to see whether Griffin is a frontrunner.
Either way, the Wizards should wrap this search up soon. They are the only NBA team without a clear reported candidate to be a head coach. I don’t think that is a bad thing right now. But if it’s August and free agency is right around the corner, it could hurt their opportunities to pick up some players and whom the new head coach can bring on as assistants.