Wow, this is a bit of a shocker. The Blazers have cut ties with general manager Rich Cho, following less than a single season together. There was little hint that this was coming—unlike the firing of former GM and team architect Kevin Pritchard, whose dismal took months—instead, this press release just arrived in my inbox. Cho is credited for the mid-season acquisition of Gerald Wallace, a savvy move that help trigger some late season momentum for the team. And now, he's out of work.
PORTLAND, Ore. - The Portland Trail Blazers announced today that they have parted ways with Rich Cho , the team's general manager of basketball operations.
"The fit between Rich and our team simply wasn't right," said Trail Blazers President Larry Miller. "This was a tough move because I respect Rich and he's a good person with many strong skills. But it simply wasn't a good match."
Here's Miller's 2010 quote from the press release announcing the hiring of Cho:
"Rich is the perfect fit for our organization," said Miller.
Ouch. Moving on...
Trail Blazers Director of College Scouting Chad Buchanan will serve as acting general manager. Buchanan has been with the team for four years. Buchanan and Head Coach Nate McMillan will report to Miller until a permanent replacement is hired.
Trail Blazers Owner Paul G. Allen said the move is part of the franchise's commitment to building a championship contending team. "This decision, as difficult as it was to make, reflects our willingness to admit and recognize that things haven't worked out," Allen said. "We're going to be tough on ourselves in assessing what we could have done better, and then go out and find the executive who is the best fit with the needs of our franchise. That chemistry and connection is critically important."
Not good news at all. NBA GMs usually get more than a single season before getting the ax, and Cho didn't have the opportunity to do anything wrong (drafting Luke Babbitt was Prichard's move, not Cho's). Looks like the Blazers front office is to general managers what George Steinbrenner was to managers. Why can't this team just have one "normal" offseason free of crippling injury or front office shenanigans?
More news on this once it becomes available.