The Portland Trail Blazers have named former Oklahoma City Thunder assistant general manager Rich Cho as their next general manager, Blazersedge learned this morning and reported first on twitter. The team sent out a text message to media confirming the hiring and later announced the decision on its website in a statement from Owner Paul Allen and an open letter from Portland Trail Blazers President Larry Miller to fans.
The Blazers will hold a formal announcement at a noon press conference today and we'll have plenty more coverage this afternoon. Here 's an official release from the team.
TRAIL BLAZERS NAME CHO GENERAL MANAGER
Portland, Ore. -The Portland Trail Blazers have named Rich Cho as the team's new general manager, Trail Blazers President Larry Millerannounced today. Per team policy, financial details were not disclosed.
"Rich is the perfect fit for our organization," said Miller. "He has the right balance of basketball knowledge, business acumen and tremendous people skills. Everyone I spoke to about Rich commented not just on his qualifications but on who he is as a person. He is well known for his ability to connect genuinely with people. Rich will be a great fit for our organization and for Portland. He is an executive on the rise and we're thrilled to have him as a Trail Blazer."
Cho, who becomes the ninth general manager in Trail Blazers history, joins the Trail Blazers after spending the past nine seasons as assistant general manager of the Seattle SuperSonics/Oklahoma City Thunder.
"I am extremely humbled and grateful for this opportunity, and I will do everything I can to help this great team get even better," said Rich Cho. "When I met with Mr. Allen, Larry Miller, and coach McMillan, it was immediately apparent to me that this organization has an incredible commitment to winning. As someone who grew up in the northwest, I'm aware of the unbelievable passion and support that Trail Blazers fans have, and I'm excited to be a part of this rich tradition."
Sorry for the delay in posting; I'm flying home from Summer League as I type this. Thanks to Rip City Project, Dwight Jaynes, Portland Mercury, Wendell Maxey, 95.5FM The Game and others for helping to spread the word.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter
Update: Mike Tokito has a review of Cho's first press conference, including this:
Cho said his strengths are the salary cap, collective bargaining agreement and contract negotiations. He said he knows the league well and is familiar with players and other general managers. He also said he is a people person, but admitted there was one thing he hadn't done before.
"This is my first press conference," he said.
But he said he is very familiar with the passion of Blazers fans and wants to bring the city its second championship. And he has great ambition for the Blazers to not just be a model franchise in the NBA, but in all pro sports.
"I want the Blazers to be the model franchise that other teams look to," he said.