SammyMohawk here. As you may know, I was fairly outspoken today due to frustration stemming from the firing of our favorite ninja GM Rich Cho, but I've grown up a lot since then and have come to some important realizations.
The most important realization I have come to is that Paul Allen is truly passionate about this team, and it is his right as the owner to have a GM that he enjoys working with. After all, we would all want the exact same thing if we were in his position. He puts his time in studying the game so that he is educated regarding personnel discussions, and I think we can all concede that being a part of those conversations is part of what drives him to pour the resources that he does into this franchise.
The other major realization I came to is that Rich Cho may not have been an X-factor in orchestrating the trade for Gerald Wallace, or even the trade of Jerryd Bayless and the calling up and signing of Chris Johnson [Ed. Note - credit to those who argued with me about this today...lookin at you Dustructo]. Born and Buchanan have been here for several years, and given the nature of Paul Allen's ownership it is difficult for me to envision a scenario where Rich Cho comes rollin in here, guns-a-blazin', and starts pulling the trigger on moves that Born, Buchanan, and PA are not on board with. This leads me to believe that some of the direction we took this year, starting with the addition of Wesley Matthews (obviously since Cho wasn't here), through the signing of Chris Johnson, and ending with the acquisition of Gerald Wallace, will not go away with Rich. Given that we are clearly not going into rebuild mode, I liked these moves very much and am hopeful that we will continue to see wise acquisitions and transactions moving forward.
Piggybacking on the notion that Born and Buchanan can be trusted with my front office affection is my resolution to give last year's draft class another chance to earn my respect. We've seen the raw skill in Luke and Armon, even if they weren't the immediate impact guys we wanted them to be, and Elliott is still a complete mystery. Joining a playoff caliber team as a rookie can't be an easy thing to do. We've seen good draft picks and poor draft picks under Born and Buchanan, but barring any moves the draft needs of our roster are pretty well defined. I wanted to believe that Cho would be some magical draft wizard, landing us gem after gem...but that was a fantasy to begin with, and the reality of the situation is that we have a team of scouts who have been there before who know what they're looking for this time around, and that's not the worst thing in the world. I think we even have more scouts this year because we kept the guys that Cho brought in.
I thank Rich for his service, he performed admirably in his time as GM here and I have no doubt that this will only help his career in the future. If this relationship wasn't going to work it's better not to drag it out. While it's true that our GM must be a good fit with PA, it doesn't mean that we have to settle for an inferior basketball mind. We all know that great franchises seem to share the trait of front office continuity, so it's important for us to get someone in there that PA jives with. They hired the wrong guy, it is what it is, now let's move on.
The Blazers will always be the little guy, fightin' and scrappin' and clawin'...looking for that perfect combination to claim that elusive championship. I experienced it recently with the Giants, some of you experienced back in '77, and collectively we will experience it again someday I'd imagine. The events of today were surprising, but they do not shake my passion or eternal hope for this team in the least.
I encourage all of you to join me in moving on from the Rich Cho saga. I overreacted. This is not like the Kevin Pritchard situation, they simply hired the wrong guy. I truly believe that. Besides, once you move on it is a weight lifted from your shoulders...you can be excited about the draft again...you can be excited that we still have LMA, Gerald, Wes, and Nic. To this situation I say "Paul Allen - This is your team! If you want to have good chemistry with your GM that is your right! Just, ya know, do us a solid and get it right this time. K? Thx. GO BLAZERS!!!!!!"