Portland Trail Blazers president Larry Miller joined team broadcasters Mike Barrett, Mike Rice and Brian Wheeler on Blazers Courtside on Monday night to provide brief updates on a few topics. As evidenced by the duct tape covering Rice's mouth, the conversation was censored to an extra degree given the NBA's ongoing lockout.
Nevertheless, here's a transcript of a few relevant quotes from Miller concerning the team's ongoing GM search, the reported interest in Blazers assistant coach Bernie Bickerstaff from the Minnesota Timberwolves to serve as their head coach, the status of coach Nate McMillan's staff, a look back at former GM Rich Cho and a few other topics.
Questions are paraphrased and in bold. Answers are word-for-word and in blockquote. The episode can be watched once it's archived here at Blazers.com.
Status of GM search?
"Well, we are continuing to look at the qualities we are looking for in a General Manager. We haven't really done a whole lot. It's something that we're working on but it's not something that we're in a rush to do. We're still going to take our time. We're happy with what [Acting GM] Chad [Buchanan] and the other guys have done. They got us through the draft. We really felt good about how we got through the draft and how Chad led that process. And so we're still in no rush. We're still in no rush."
Surprised that Minnesota asked about Bernie Bickerstaff to be head coach?
"I don't know about surprised. But I talked to Bernie last week. Bernie thoroughly enjoyed being here. He actually told me at one point that Nate is the best coach he's ever been around. He said, 'Including myself.' He really thinks very highly of Nate. He enjoyed the time here last year. Definitely wanting to come back. When the opportunity comes along with the potential for a head coaching position, he's looking into it. If it doesn't feel right for him, his plan is to be back."
Status of the assistant coaches?
"We're still looking to bring pretty much all of the guys back at this point. That's Nate's desire to bring back his staff and that's what we're working on."
You are friends with Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan. Did you help former GM Rich Cho get hired by the Bobcats?
"This is funny. As soon as I had gone out to the practice facility to talk to Rich, and then at the same time the announcement went out. When I'm driving back from the practice facility, my phone rings and it's Michael Jordan. He's a friend. He called and he asked me about Rich, we had a conversation about Rich. Next thing you know he called me back and said Rich was coming down to meet with them and he ended up getting the job and I think that's great."
Rose Quarter development progress?
"We're still engaged with the city and some other partners that I can't really mention names right now. It seems like there's more I can't talk about than I can talk about. We are definitely still in engaged with the city, I was in a really good meeting on Friday talking about some things. There still is movement in terms of developing the Rose Quarter and actually making something happen here that we can all feel good about and that would be beneficial for the city. That's really the goal. To create something here that's going to benefit the city, create jobs, that will make it so we're not looking out the window when there's no event going on watching the tumbleweeds. Activity down here on a 365 day a year basis."
Bringing boxing to the Rose Garden?
"Absolutely. We continue to look into it. We've had some discussions over the last few months or so in trying to bring a fight here. I'm confident that we'll -- not just one, I'd like to bring a number of big fights here. We've been working. It's hard to compete with the casinos though."
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