Rich Cho was fired as general manager of the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday, and the surprise factor led to immediate reports groping for explanation. John Canzano of The Oregonian reports that Brandon Roy may have had something to do with the shocking dismissal.
Roy, the team's star guard and highest paid player, suffered through double knee surgery this winter but bounced back to play a reserve role down the stretch. After Game 2 in the Blazers' playoffs series against the Dallas Mavericks, Roy spoke to the media about his frustration with a lack of playing time. According to Canzano, Cho wanted to suspend Roy for those comments.
But he didn't, and coach Nate McMillan ended up giving Roy more minutes the rest of the series. Roy responded, having a solid Game 3 in a Blazers win and presenting a majestic Game 4 performance in which Portland came back in stirring fashion with Roy scoring 18 in the fourth quarter.
Canzano writes that although Cho didn't suspend Roy, the behind-the-scenes push to do as much could have led to a chasm between he and the management team above him, led by team owner Paul Allen.
Pushing for a suspension was a bold play by Cho. Especially given that the last general manager, Kevin Pritchard, lost his job for thinking on his own.
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