Blazers

Rich Cho Named New GM of Portland Trail Blazers

| by Dwight Jaynes

Quick question: What do YOU have in common with the new Trail Blazer general manager? (Answer below).

Cho made a big hit, it seemed, with local media during the first news conference of his life Monday. He came across as humble, smart and even witty. For a guy often described as “not a big personality guy” he did a very nice job.

You’ve already read a lot about him (and you should read this) and I’m not going to attempt to recap his career, other than to say he’s worked his way up in the business, known for how hard he continues to work, packs a couple of pretty heavy college degrees and you can’t find anyone around the league who doesn’t like him.

I think there’s every reason to believe that this guy can be a very clever and effective general manager. And I’d also make the case that you shouldn’t get too involved in worrying about how much autonomy he’s going to have in this job. Nobody here has ever had TOTAL autonomy. Not many GMs anywhere have it. The owner is almost always going to have his say.

The only GMs who act like they have total control are the ones who want total credit, which is something to be suspicious about.

The Blazers have made the Finals twice under Paul Allen’s ownership and should have been there a third time or fourth time. I don’t think Allen himself kept any of those teams from going all the way. He isn’t the reason a championship hasn’t been won here since 1977. Relax on all that stuff.

In fact, I’d advise you to relax a little about the GM situation. Rich Cho is going to be fine. In fact, there’s evidence he’s the smartest guy in just about any room he’s in. Why do I think so?

Well, let me get to the answer of the question I asked at the top of this blog. He’s smart because he’s like you — Rich Cho reads this blog! At least that’s what he said Monday, and he backed it up by recognizing me from that goofy picture on your right.

Good move, young man. You have the Godfather’s blessing, Rich. At least for now.

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