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Blazers GM Rich Cho Fired

The team went through this song and dance last summer. Only this time they didn't even make it past draft day before they fired the GM. Rich Cho, less than one year from accepting the general manager position for the Portland Trail Blazers, was shown the Rose Garden exit in a similar style to Kevin Pritchard last summer. Portland has now shuffled through three GM's in less than one calendar year. It started with assistant general manager Tom Penn in May 2010. Then just after the 2010 draft in June, Kevin Pritchard saw his time with the Blazers end, shocking the Portland fan base. In July 2010, Portland hired Rich Cho from the Oklahoma City Thunder and that seemed to calm the situation. But nothing is ever calm with Paul Allen and his Big Brother Vulcans. Despite heisting Gerald Wallace from the Bobcats, keeping together a crumbling roster to 50 wins, and not having an opportunity to participate in the draft or a full free agency period, Allen had seen enough. Keep in mind this is the same Paul Allen that one month ago said that he saw Rich Cho as an integral part of the franchise if they were to return to the NBA Finals. So somewhere in the past month, Cho irritated Allen to the point where he was fired. That seems highly unlikely, which means that the Vulcans, the suits that handle Paul Allen's investments, have been scheming to remove Cho. The Vulcans have long meddled with Blazer affairs, putting pressure on the organization and Allen (despite owning both companies). They are always watching and whispering in Allen's ear. The Vulcans do not want any one person becoming more powerful than them, preferring a personality that is weak and manipulative. Larry Miller, in their minds, is an exemplary executive: a mouthpiece that they can control and do their bidding. Miller has backed every decision that Allen has ever made, never voicing displeasure with the owner in public. But then again, nether did Rich Cho. Cho appeared to have done everything that the organization asked. Larry Miller cited that personality differences were the reasons that he was let go. The Blazers preferred to not drag out a situation that they saw inevitably ending. If Cho and Allen have personality issues, what could the Blazers possibly look for in a new GM? Cho appeared more soft-spoken than a mute. My guess is that they are looking for simply a suit. They want a person to stand there and announce the decisions of the organizations. Their next GM will simply be a yes-man. Why would any general manager want this job though? After the three dismissals of Penn, Pritchard and Cho, clearly the Blazers general manager position is not the dream job that people once portrayed it as. A rich owner with deep pockets who is willing to exceed the cap. But the caveat is that your voice is not heard. And if you voice it too loudly, here's a box, pack your things up and be out of the office by the end of the day. If I were a current, former, or aspiring general manager I would put a red flag by Portland. I have said it before and it bears repeating: the Blazers will never win a championship with Paul Allen as the owner. The man's ego is too large for any other person in the organization to receive credit. The Vulcans and Allen have created a culture of fear throughout the Blazers, leaving the job about as desirable as head coach of the Timberwolves. Allen may be willing to spend more money than any other owner, but his inability to let another person simply do their jobs will crush this team. Allen and the Vulcans are the puppeteers looking for a beautiful new puppet to string along, a la Miller. The number one prerequisite for the job is simple: "Must not have a spine."


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