Rich Cho reads Blazersedge


Or at least his wife does.

Rich Cho came to my law school today (Pepperdine) and talked for an hour about his career path, how he transitioned from engineering to law school to the Sonics, etc. I knew most of it from reading his bio this summer, but it was cool to hear him talk about it, especially when he talked about flying out to Helsinki to interview with Paul Allen on his yacht. 

Anyway, partway through his talk he said that one of the hardest parts for him in the transition from assistant GM to GM was being in the media limelight. He said that Portland is a small place, and that Blazermania is pretty crazy because we only have one pro sports team and stuff. He said that he has to be careful of everything that he says, because there are a bunch of bloggers and sports writers in the area. Then he said something like: 


"There's this one blog, Blazersedge, that has everything, seriously everything. ... One day my wife called me, sort of upset, and I was like 'what's wrong?' and she said 'these guys on Blazersedge are calling you an idiot!'" 


We had a good laugh, but it was awesome to hear that he knew about and even respected BEdge. He went on to answer a bunch of questions, both basketball related (he got questions ranging from Oden-Durant to the CBA and lockout--I'm actually in Civil Procedure class right now, maybe later I'll write up some of his answers) and career related. Overall he seems like a really cool guy; not as good of a speaker as Pritchard, but he definitely knows his stuff and I'm convinced he is going to make good decisions for the team. 

In conclusion, be nice to Rich Cho on here, you might be upsetting his wife! Also he's a really nice guy. 


EDIT - Questions that I can remember him answering (none of this is verbatim, just the gist of what he said):


Q - Thoughts on the upcoming CBA and lockout? 

A - Not sure if there will be a lockout, there has been some promising talk, but you never know (probably just his standard answer), but he did go on to say that last year they asked all the GMs to make a "wishlist" describing what they think does and doesn't work in the current CBA, and since he had such extensive knowledge of it, Presti delegated it to Cho.


Q - Are you a "numbers" GM, a la Daryl Morey?

A - Daryl is probably the most numbers-oriented GM in the league. Cho said that he follows a less numbers-based approach, taking into account the character of the players as well as their production. He actually went into more detail on this question after some jamoke asked him about what he thought about the transition from the Jail Blazers era (same guy that asked about Durant and Oden--who also asked "is Durant the best player on the planet?"--Cho diplomatically answered that if he were building a team around a player, he would want Durant, Kobe, Lebron, or Dwight). Cho was just like "uhh... Yeah the organization has done a great job with that," then went into stuff about the character of the players: do they smoke weed, do they drink, how do they spend their time off the court, etc. I think he called it like an "eyes, ears, and numbers" approach. But he said that he is very numbers based, and that they do statistical analysis on both prospective players and the players on the team, which they will take to the coaches from time to time. He said that some coaches around the league are much more receptive to this new, percentage based system


Q - Have you ever attended the SLOAN conference?

A - He hasn't, because they have always had 2 or 3 people going, and it wasn't ever a good time for him. He is not sure if he will in the future. 


Q - Someone from Beijing asked about the international aspect of the NBA (in somewhat broken English, so Cho didn't really know how to answer, and just started talking about the international element of the NBA in general).

A - The NBA is a lot more global than when he first started 13 years ago. International players are coming over all the time, and one of the problems is that they are superstars in their own country, and they come over here expecting to play tons of minutes and get severely disappointed. I thought for sure he was going to mention Rudy here, but he actually talked about some Turkish player, Ibo Kutluay I think, that they signed while he was with the Sonics who played really well overseas and was a really good shooter, but he was playing behind Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis, and Radmonivich, so he never got off the bench. He mentioned Rudy later, laughing and saying that Rudy also wanted more minutes. Oh also he said that Stern was talking about some European division of the NBA, but he hadn't heard much about it and wasn't sure where that was going. 


Most of the other questions were about the industry and getting jobs and stuff. Apparently it's a hard industry to break into...


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