Another Strange Twist In Portland

OKLAHOMA CITY – The news of Rich Cho‘s firing as general manager in Portland after barely a year (10 months to be exact) on the job stunned as many people here as it did back in Portland and around the league in general. Cho, a former assistant general manager to Thunder GM Sam Presti, worked for this organization for years and was beloved by all who crossed his path.

So what in the world could have gone wrong in such a short period of time that it ends with Cho, a rising star and easily one of the most likeable men in the basketball business, being relieved of his duties?

As TNT’s David Aldridge made clear, this was much more about bad chemistry than it was about Cho’s performance or the performance of his staff or the team.

After yet another failed chemistry experiment with a general manager, however, it’s becoming increasingly clear that this has nothing to do with the men chosen for the job and everything to do with the folks doing the choosing.

John Canzano of the Oregonian details it impeccably and also has a stern warning for job seekers thinking about the Blazers as a potential destination:

Don’t be awkward. And also, hope the awkward owner likes you.

Also, keep your head down, and smile, and shake hands. Sell your home and move your family to Portland, as Cho did a few months ago. Print up business cards and hand them out. Mostly, though, yuk it up with the big brains at Vulcan Inc., best you can. (Read: Nod a lot when they talk to you.)
Paul Allen wadded up another general manager on Monday. That’s two in 10 months. In the end, he looks a little Al Davis-nutty, a little Jerry Jones-smothering. You decide which. The pattern here is disturbing and dysfunctional. The Blazers are going nowhere like this. And the temptation today is to wonder which young executive Allen will hire/fire next.

Interim GM Chad Buchanan, good luck — now pack your bags, because you’re on the clock.

This Cho-Allen thing felt like a good fit. Instead, it ended up being further evidence that there’s a systemic issue with the Blazers. It’s a franchise dreaming about everywhere, but headed nowhere until Allen learns to hire smart people and let them work — or sells the thing to some other rich guy who already knows.

The worst part is one of the best basketball environments in this universe, one of the very best fan bases in all of sports and scores of quality people within the fabric of the Blazers nation are being treated to this ongoing circus on a daily basis.

They don’t deserve this fate any more than Cho, his predecessors or his eventual successor … whoever that poor soul might be!

12 Comments

  1. watcher says:

    No player that I can think of has ever come back from the amount of time Oden has spent on the sidelines and been truly elite. Good? Sure. Very good (Grant Hill)? Yep. If the story going around is true, then Cho was wise to this, and Tony Allen comes across as a business and marketing man first, cold hard reality basketball man second. That is of course unless Oden proves most of us wrong. It’s fair to say the fans deserve better than another gamble of this magnitude. Good luck Blazers.

  2. Jonsey says:

    As long as they keep Patrick Mills, thats all that matters. giving trading oden would be a mistake but i think getting wallace was a bit unnessesary

  3. Roon says:

    If Greg Oden has any loyalty at all, he will stay at the Blazers next year for one year minimum wage contract to prove that he can get healthy. I’m pretty disappointed Cho is gone, from an external point of view it looked like he was doing a good job. I really hope Allen doesn’t keep doing this every year. There’s so much potential in this team if he just lets a good GM go to work.

  4. Viper139 says:

    The team looked great going up against Dallas. Even Dallas put them away the effort visible was great.
    And with Oden and Roy back this team really could challange OKC/Dallas for the WesternConference crown.

    So lets see what the future brings – until then – GO DALLAS :)

  5. movingon says:

    Getting Wallace wasn’t the best move. Sure he is a great player but not exactly what the blazers needed. Batum is on the rise and a SF wasn’t the position needed to be filled. He isn’t great at creating his own shot and his offense is limited. When it came playoff times Wallace underperformed and showed he wasn’t the answer. Not only did we add a player to the team that wasn’t vital but we lost a future all-star when we gave away bayless. Bayless is what the blazers needed in the playoffs. He is a player who can create his own shot whenever he wants. He is physical and is constantly on the attack. With Broy’s health and inability to come back to full strength really hurt the blazers as our only true scoring threat was LA who needs somebody to deliver the ball to him in the post so he isn’t the easiest player to get the ball to in late game situations. Even though the deal to get Wallace may have seemed like a steal, the loss of bayless I think hurt the blazers even more.

    • (drugs) says:

      you are on something.

      • Jimmy says:

        Watch Wallace next year after the guys know him and he gets a training camp with them. He is crazy good. I like Batum but he shouldn’t be mentioned in the same sentence with Wallace.

        I hope Miller is in the gym shooting 3′s right now. We need floor spacing and Miller couldn’t shoot his way out of a paper bag. He’s got great numbers for a guy that’s never won a playoff series…. ever. Gots-to-go!

        Oden will make 8+ mil next season if we the Blazers sign his qualifying offer. If Cho thought he could find a better way to spent that dough, I believe him!

    • hititorquitit says:

      @movingon

      Are you Bayless’ mom or sister or something? Nobody in real life could believe what you just said! Bayless was a chucker that couldn’t grasp (or chose not to run) Nates simple offense!

  6. B-baller says:

    Im from portland, I have friends in the blazers office. The word on the inside is that Cho wanted to get rid of ODEN, but as the blazers have seen MANY times, as soon as they trade or give up an “injured all the time type player” he becomes a star player elsewhere. Cho did a GREAT job by getting wallase. finally we have a wallase to cheer for again (I have been sour about the SHEED trade for years) but we need a dominate center, and CHO wanted him gone. ALLEN wanted him to stay. its simple.

  7. YeeDog says:

    are you kidding me?
    he got the franchise player from Charlotte,how on earth did he not do a good enough job ?
    they could have at least let him finish his term before forcing him to move to another city
    this business is pure ruthlessness

  8. sam says:

    Damn well atleast he got us Gerald Wallace before he left I dont see anyone else taking dallas to 6 games

  9. Portland is a joke. They can’t get any luck in the draft. They have one of the best fan base in the league, but they just don’t make good moves