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Blazers surprisingly release GM Rich Cho after one year

May 23, 2011, 4:26 PM EDT

Rich Cho AP

In a move that came as a surprise around the NBA, general manager Rich Cho was released after one season, the team announced Monday.

College scouting director Chad Buchanan will take over as the interim GM.

“The fit between Rich and our team simply wasn’t right,” said Trail Blazers President Larry Miller said in a released statement. “This was a tough move because I respect Rich and he’s a good person with many strong skills. But it simply wasn’t a good match.”

Um, who can get along with ownership there? Not anyone who takes a strong stand. There has been a lot of turnover of respected people in the Blazers front office the past couple of years. Kevin Pritchard helped build this Blazers roster — one that was very good but done in by knee injuries to Brandon Roy and Greg Oden — but he was let go last summer along with right hand man Tom Penn.

The very respected Rich Cho was brought in from Oklahoma City to run the show. It’s hard to say that he did a good or bad job because the issues around Brandon Roy’s knees changed the tone of the Blazers season, but he didn’t make any transactions that were terrible. Cho made a great move to bring in Gerald Wallace at the deadline and this is a good roster, one that can be reworked to compete in the West. There are good pieces.

But Cho also was asserting himself in the organization. After Brandon Roy pleaded for more minutes through the media after Game 2 of the Blazers playoff series against Dallas, Cho reportedly asked for a suspension of Roy. It was Miller and owner Paul Allen who talked Cho out of it, but apparently that left a bad taste in their mouth. The Portland ownership does not like strong-willed general managers, and the players and coach seem to have a more stable position.

Which is bad for an organization long-term. The meek may inherit the earth but they do not become good NBA GMs.

“This decision, as difficult as it was to make, reflects our willingness to admit and recognize that things haven’t worked out,” Blazers owner Paul Allen said in a statement. “We’re going to be tough on ourselves in assessing what we could have done better, and then go out and find the executive who is the best fit with the needs of our franchise. That chemistry and connection is critically important.”

  1. goforthanddie - May 23, 2011 at 4:49 PM

    Good move. Cho’s previous team is in the Western Finals. He got us Wallace for next to nothing. So let’s ditch him right before the draft.
    I guess he thought he’d actually be allowed to run the team. Shoulda talked to Pritchard first.

    • jmclarkent - May 23, 2011 at 8:13 PM

      Not to mention the Wesley Matthews signing. That deal ended up being a steal.

  2. awolfgang - May 23, 2011 at 7:08 PM

    ah crap

    Thanks for the run in the 90′s, it’s over for this franchise :(

  3. rajbais - May 24, 2011 at 8:30 PM

    Another reason why Paul Allen dropped from the 3rd richest man to the 57th, he doesn’t get along with competent people.

    Remember a guy named Bill Gates?

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