Neil Olshey, LA Clippers GM: Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain!

Dave HaineContributor IIIOctober 12, 2010

Aminu drives and Bledsoe defends
Aminu drives and Bledsoe defendsChris Graythen/Getty Images

After 7 seasons slowly climbing the Los Angeles Clipper Management tree Neil Olshey steps into the public eye as the newest Los Angeles Clippers General Manager.

Several articles I've read have focused on Neil's younger years as an aspiring actor in New York city.  Despite his small parts in soap operas and his history with the late Jerry Orbach, basketball is where his future needed to be.

Prior to joining the Clippers Neil was an Assistant Coach of Artesia High School's basketball team in California and then work for the FSX Sports Group which hosts evaluation camps for NBA teams to watch blue chip prospects. 

In 2003,Neil joined the Clippers as the Director of Player Personnel around the same time as Mike Dunleavy Sr. took over as Head Coach.  For the 2004 season Oshley joined Dunleavy's coaching staff.  It was clear a solid working relationship between Neil and Mike had formed. 

Mike took Neil further under his wing in 2008 when Neil was named Assistant General Manager immediately upon Mike's promotion to General Manager.

In this partnership Mike allowed Neil to focus on crucial aspects of the front office.  Important tasks like Scouting, Salary Cap and developing relationships with other GM's around the league. Neil expresses extreme appreciation to his mentor for the tutoring he received from Mike. 

In February of this year Mike stepped aside as the Head Coach and shortly after that in March the Clippers cut ties with Dunleavy.  At that time Neil was promoted to General Manager.

Many suspected Neil's promotion maybe an interim job however as the summer of 2010 progressed it was clear the powers that be in Clipperland wanted Neil for the job.

Now since March, Neil has signed UFA's like Randy Foye, Ryan Gomes and Brian Cook plus hiring a new Head Coach in Vinny Del Negro. Then drafted Al Farouq-Aminu and Eric Bledsoe this year as well as signing nice diamond in the rough Marqus Blakely, however, we all need to know the Oshley finger prints go much deeper. 

Drafting Blake Griffin was a no brainer and if you look back since 2008 and all the distraction and focus Mike Dunlveay had on his plate coaching it seems to me that the GM tasks likely landed on Neil lap. That means the re-signing of Eric Gordon and DeAndre Jordan, unloading troubled Zach Randolph and bringing in Rasual Butler and re-signing him while clearing cap it appears that Neil was the Wizard of Oz in the City of Angels.  

Mike was the banging and distraction but It's time to pay attention to the man behind the curtain...his name is Neil Olshey!