Cavs executive Altman feels awful about distraction from OVI arrest, has spoken to team owner

CLEVELAND (AP) — Cavaliers president of basketball operations Koby Altman regrets becoming a distraction for his recent arrest for driving under the influence and has spoken to owner Dan Gilbert about the situation.

Altman was arrested on Sept. 15 after he was pulled over by the Ohio Highway Patrol for a traffic violation near downtown. The 41-year-old failed a field sobriety test and was taken into custody.

On Monday, Altman made his first public comments since the arrest as the Cavs held their media day at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

“I feel awful about the distraction that this incident has caused our organization and team,” Altman said in his opening remarks. “I’ve had several conversations across the building with players, coaches and ownership on down and have expressed that same sentiment to them as well.”

Altman did not provide any specifics about his talks with Gilbert.

“I’ve had several conversations across the building and with ownership and Dan,” Altman said. “Like everything else, those conversations remain internal and personal and this one was the same.”

Altman would not comment on whether he expects to be disciplined by the Cavs.

The team released an initial statement one day after Altman’s arrest, saying it was aware of his arrest and gathering information. The Cavs put out a more strongly worded statement following Altman’s court appearance and the release of body-camera footage.

“We hold our team members to a high standard of conduct and expect leaders at every level of our organization to represent the Cavaliers with integrity, professionalism and accountability,” the team said in its second statement.

The body-cam footage showed Altman being told by officers that he nearly caused an accident before he was stopped. At one point, Altman told the officers he is “the president of the Cavaliers” and that he was exhausted after just returning from a trip overseas and going to dinner.

Altman has been with the Cavs since 2012. He’s worked his way up in the team’s front office and was promoted to general manager in 2017.

With several savvy moves, Altman has helped the team rebuild following LeBron James’ departure in 2018. The Cavs won 51 games last season and returned to the playoffs for the first time in five years before losing to the New York Knicks in the first round.

In January, the team changed Altman’s title and signed him to an extension through the 2027-28 season. He finished second in NBA Executive of the Year voting last season.

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