Trail Blazers Fires GM Neil Olshey After Workplace Investigation originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The Portland Trail Blazers have fired general manager and executive chairman of basketball Neil Olshey, the team announced Friday afternoon.
The decision came after an independent investigation found Olshey had violated the Blazers’ code of conduct.
“The Portland Trail Blazers are committed to building an organization that has a positive impact on our colleagues, the community, and the world in which we live and play,” the Blazers statement read. “Following the conclusion of an independent review of the concerns and complaints surrounding our work environment at the practice facility, the Portland Trail Blazers organization has decided to terminate the general manager and president of operations. Basketball Neil Olshey, effective immediately due to violations of the Portland Trail Blazers’ code of conduct.
“Out of respect for those who were directly involved in that privileged investigation, we will not disclose or discuss it. We are confident that these changes will help build a more positive and respectful work environment.”
Assistant general manager Joe Cronin, who is in his 16th season with the franchise, will serve as interim GM of Portland while the team conducts the search for a long-term replacement for Olshey. Chicago Bulls general manager Marc Eversley and New York Knicks GM Scott Perry is expected to be strongly considered for the job, according to Yahoo! Sports ‘Chris Haynes.
The Blazers announced in early November that there is an ongoing independent investigation after they were informed by non-player staff at the practice of “concerns around the work environment”.
Haynes reported at the time that Olshey allegedly created a “toxic” workplace with intimidation, citing team members. Team employees said they had endured “obscenity” and other bullying tactics, resulting in mental and physical stress. At least one team member reported potential misconduct leading to the investigation, The Athletic.
Olshey was hired as the Blazers GM in 2012 and given the title of executive chairman of basketball in 2015. Portland made it to the knockouts eight of nine seasons during his tenure, but only made it through once. second round, lose Golden Empire Warriors in the Western Conference Finals 2019.
The Blazers fired longtime head coach Terry Stotts this past season after the team failed in the first round of the knockout stages for the fourth time in five years. Portland then made the hiring of controversial head coach Chauncey Billups, who was charged with rape in 1997. Billups was never charged and settled the civil case out of court in 2000.
The Blazers start December 11 to the Billups era, currently sitting in ninth place in the Western Conference.
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