clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Transcript: Blazers GM Neil Olshey On Larry Miller, Coaching Search, Free Agency

Update (9: 45 PM): This post has been updated. Also, check out the rookies press conference digest here.

Sean Meagher of posted video of Portland Trail Blazers GM Neil Olshey discussing the resignation of Blazers president Larry Miller and the team's upcoming coaching search, which will include interviews in Las Vegas during Summer League. also posted video of Olshey discussing the team's strategies and free agency situations here and here

From those videos, here's a collected and expanded transcript of Olshey's comments.

Reaction to Larry Miller's resignation

The last extended conversation I had with him was on our six-hour flight to Washington D.C. to go recruit Roy Hibbert together. It caught me off guard a little bit. It sounds like it's a great opportunity for him and he seems really comfortable with the decision so I'm happy for him. He's been great to work with, from the minute he picked me up at the airport to today.

He's a great asset. Larry is the perfect president because he knows basketball, he knows how important it is, he does everything on the business end to make sure we have all the resources we would need. He also has major connections. Roy was as comfortable with him in the meeting as he was with me, because of Larry's background with Nike and David Falk because of Michael [Jordan]. There's always a value add with Larry because he brings more to the table than just a guy who ran the organization.

Are you interested in the president's job?

How about I worry about doing this job before I worry about getting another job? You've got to be kidding me. I was an English major. I can't even do an excel sheet. I have no idea what presidents do. I just find players.

Update on coaching search?

Nothing specific. I can tell you we've vetted all the candidates. We've got our list. I'll have some clarity for you guys by the end of the week in terms of names that will be on the interview list. Right now, I plan on conducting those interviews in Vegas. It's the atmosphere most conducive to a search. We can see almost all the guys, almost all the guys are currently on staffs. We can bang through it efficiently and it's a good environment to do it in.


Jason Quick of The Oregonian offers this list...

He is expected to consider Indiana's Brian Shaw, Golden State's Michael Malone, Miami's David Fizdale, Oklahoma City's Rex Kalamian, San Antonio's Mike Budenholzer and Memphis' Dave Joerger. Blazers assistant Kaleb Canales, who went 8-15 as interim coach last season after Nate McMillan was fired, is also expected to be a candidate.


Who will coach Summer League?

Kaleb [Canales], Dan Dickau and Hersey Hawkins will all be working with the Summer League guys.

What can you say about Nicolas Batum's situation?

We're not going to comment on free agents. We're in the moratorium. He's going through his process. As was reported, we had lunch with his agent. We had a good discussion with him. We have some strategic htings that will have to be handled. We're all working off word of mouth until tomorrow night at 9 o'clock.

I thought you said you would match any offers?

Look, we've all heard things. I had a conversation with his agent, I had a conversation with David Kahn of the Timberwolves, that will remain private. Like I said, what you will see at the end of this, I believe what we did at the end of the day was in the best interests of the organization, today and in the future.

Strategy now that Indiana matched on Roy Hibbert

We were going to go after one major guy. We were going to push all our chips in to get him. We thought he's a big time piece now and in the future. If another opportunity like that comes up we're totally prepared from a financial standpoint and salary cap standpoint. I don't see it right now. I don't see the guys who fit the criteria right now. Same age as our players. All-Star caliber players. Guys who can move the needle immediately in terms of wins and losses. I think that would have to be created through the trade market...

The big thing we've talked about is fluidity and flexibility. What I'm not going to do is hamstring the organization with $7-$8 million contracts on guys who don't move the needle. I didn't come here for quick fixes. How did it work out the last time we did that? To be very honest with you guys, how did that work out? I've never heard a media talk more negatively about a season and how it progressed. When you try to put your thumb in a bunch of different areas of a dike, that has holes it, very rarely does it hold. We're looking for long-term solutions to our challenges.

Trade talks still ongoing?

Absolutely. One of the things in having four assistant GMs, basically, is that we're never off the phones... There are a lot of teams with money. The opportunity to extract a high-level player usually happens when people are under financial duress and they don't have the flexibility to go to other markets. This is one of those seasons where you have a lot of loose money flying around. Peopel cleared money heading into our bargaining issues. Now they've basically got Monopoly money to throw around.

We'll continue to be active. Cap room is a tool to acquire players through free agency or trade... The vision is, our core players are in their mid or early 20s and we want to add guys that grow with them and develop a championship caliber organization. I don't think anybody is satisfied with finishing 8th and getting blown out by a superior opponent.

PS: Thanks to BlazerFanSince1970 here.

-- Ben Golliver | | Twitter