Blazers Reportedly Received Complaints About Lack of Diversity in Front Office

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVDecember 6, 2021

General nanager Neil Olshey talks to media after announcing Chauncey Billups as the head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers at the team's practice facility in Tualatin, Ore., Tuesday, June 29, 2021. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)
AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer

Among the numerous problems with the Portland Trail Blazers front office, ownership also "received several complaints about a lack of diversity," according to Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic. 

General manager Neil Olshey was fired last week for violating the team's code of conduct following an investigation into workplace misconduct that started in early November. 

The Trail Blazers hired Asjha Jones in April as their director of basketball strategy and hired Edniesha Curry as an assistant coach in July, but those moves were considered "reactionary."

Olshey, a white man, had been the Trail Blazers' top decision-maker since 2012. Assistant general managers Joe Cronin, Bill Branch and Steve Rosenberry are also all white men. Cronin was elevated to interim GM upon Olshey's dismissal.

According to Charania and Amick, star guard Damian Lillard was among those who noticed the lack of diversity in the front office.

Terry Stotts had been Portland's head coach for nine seasons before he was fired last offseason, spanning Lillard's entire NBA career. The team hired Chauncey Billups ahead of this season while Curry, a former WNBA player, helps bring a new perspective to the sideline as the first female assistant coach in franchise history.