Man of Education and Faith. Adrian's father, David Allan Griffin Sr., served as head pastor at Shekinah Christian Fellowship in Wichita, Kansas, for 25 years. David had a significant influence on his son and taught him family values and helped him set his priorities on education and leadership. Adrian followed his father's advice and earned a master's degree and is currently working on his doctorate in leadership studies.
Adrian is married (his wife's name is Audrey) and has four children; two daughters (Vanessa and Aubrey) and two sons (Alan and Adrian Jr.) Side note here, Adrian's wife Audrey has a master's degree in education and is an aspiring R&B singer.
In July of 2011, Adrian walked away from being an assistant with the Bulls to put a priority on his family. He came back in October 2011 after he took "care of what's really important and that's family and getting everybody on the same page."
NBA Background. Adrian went undrafted in 1996 and bounced around the United States Basketball League, the Continental Basketball Association, and Italy until 1999. In 1999, he got an opportunity to play on the Boston Celtics; that opportunity turned into a nine year NBA career.
During Adrian's NBA playing career, he played with the Celtics, Mavericks (twice), Rockets, Bulls (twice), and the Supersonics. He had the opportunity to start on the Dallas Maverick's Avery Johnson coached NBA Finals team. During his playing time in the NBA, Adrian played for Rick Pitino, P.J. Carlesimo, Jeff Van Gundy, Avery Johnson, and Don Nelson.
Adrian was hired on by the Bucks in 2008 as a player development coach. Adrian spent his first year working with the bigs and his second year working with the Buck's backcourt players. In 2010 Tom Thibodeau and the Bulls hired Adrian to be an assistant; and in 2013 Adrian was promoted to Thibodeau's lead assistant.
Quotes on Adrian. Here are some quotes I found about Adrian and some from Adrian:
Mike Wilhelm long-time assistant coach with the Chicago Bulls discussed Adrian's leadership, "In 2005, he played on the first Bulls team to make the playoffs since the last championship season in 1998. He was a leader of that team. He was just as responsible for us making the playoffs as anyone else. He also helped us as the leader when he came back in 2006-07 and when we swept Miami in the first round of the playoffs."
Adrian on what his father taught him, "My father was a minister, so I understand the effects that a leader has on a community, on individuals - he set such a great example of being a servant to others, helping others, and that is something that I aspire to do. I want to teach leadership and set up programs for underprivileged kids, especially in the minority community because I think they need it a lot. To understand what you need to succeed in life.
"Griff brings the best of Tom Thibodeau and Scott Skiles. He's a hybrid of both. He is a leader of men and also a great X and O coach. He has both of the things that you need to be successful as a head coach in the NBA. He will have his players play to their best abilities the entire season.
"Adrian is one of a kind who is one of the best leaders that I have ever been around."
Thibodeau on Griffin, "I am hopeful that he'll get more consideration, head-coaching opportunities. He has done a terrific job, he is strong in all areas, he is a great communicator, leader, and a great teacher. I'm hopeful, I'm hopeful for him, I think he's deserving."
Adrian on what Scott Skiles saw in him to bring him on as an assistant, "I think he figured that if a guy as slow as I was without a lot of athletic ability could play in the league, he must be a bright guy. In all honesty, I just tried to be a professional and do what was asked of me without rocking the boat. It's not a lot to ask of a player to be professional and do what is required of you."
Adrian on family and coaching, "...at the end of the day, you have to put your priorities in line. It worked out where I'm able to be back at work and do the thing that I do love, and that's to coach. I do have aspirations of eventually being a head coach, but at the end of the day, your family's important and you just have to make sure that everything's OK on that end."
Cleveland.com 2014 article
Wikipedia on Adrian Griffin
Daily Herald 2010 article
Sporting News 2010 article
Bulls.com 2010 blog entry
Chicago Tribune 2011 article
Comcast Sportsnet 2011 article
Yardbarker.com 2013 entry