Today, Rich Cho was named Portland Trailblazers’ new GM. After nine seasons as assistant general manager of the Seattle SuperSonics/Oklahoma City Thunder, this is a welcome promotion. He becomes the first Asian-American general manager in NBA history. (A couple years ago, Erik Spoelstra was named the head coach for the Miami Heat. He’s snow got Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh at his disposal.) With both engineering and law degree, this guy knows analytics and contract negotiations. Terms of the contract with Cho were not disclosed. We’re eager to see what changes he’ll make on the team.
(Thanks to Jimmy for the tip.)
Rich Cho named Portland Trailblazers GM
TV Coverage of Rich Cho as the Portland Trailblazers GM
Rich Cho interview on Trail Blazers Courtside
More about Rich Cho
Cho entered the NBA as an intern with the SuperSonics in 1995 while earning a law degree from Pepperdine University School of Law. He was brought on as a part-time consultant for the SuperSonics in 1997. Later that year, he was hired as the team’s director of basketball affairs, a position he held until being promoted to assistant general manager in 2000. While assistant general manager with the SuperSonics/Thunder, Cho, who is known for his analytical skills, was responsible for constructing trades, contract negotiations, salary cap and Collective Bargaining Agreement matters, player contracts and all player personnel issues. Cho also reviewed contract matters for the WNBA’s Seattle Storm.
A member of the Washington State Bar, Cho was also a valuable asset to the business office, having served as Vice President of Legal for the SuperSonics from 2005-07. He handled all the legal work involved with sponsorship agreements, licensing issues, employment contracts and immigration issues.
During his internship with the SuperSonics, Cho – with the assistance of two Microsoft programmers – helped design and implement one of the NBA’s most advanced and comprehensive college and professional player-evaluation systems that integrates player statistics, scouting information and contract details.
Cho, 44, is a northwest native, having attended Decatur High School in Federal Way, Wash., before earning an engineering degree from Washington State University. His law degree from Pepperdine University includes an emphasis in sports law, contract negotiations and dispute resolution.