Association sport

NBA GMs form association amid Portland Trail Blazers investigation

NBA general managers are taking cues from their coaches and are in the process of forming their own professional association, according to a report from ESPN Thursday morning.

The report said league general managers are working to finalize the formation of an association that would support executives through legal defense funds, attorney referrals and public relations professionals. It would reflect the structure and purpose of the National Basketball Coaches Association.

The GMs have taken several steps over the past few months to get the organization in place, including forming a steering committee to create a constitution, opening an LLC and notifying the league office of their intentions, the report said. .

This is all falling into place as the Portland Trail Blazers investigate President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey.

On Nov. 6, the Blazers announced they had hired law firm O’Melveny & Myers to “conduct a fair and independent review” after a complaint was filed with the organization’s human resources department. for “concerns about the work environment by non-gamers”. training center staff.

Prior to the recent complaint, neither the league nor the team had received a workplace complaint against Olshey in his more than nine years with the Trail Blazers, according to ESPN and Yahoo Sports.

Olshey signed a three-year contract extension in 2019 after the Blazers reached the Western Conference Finals. It extends until 2023-24. Olshey was hired in 2012 after nine seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers.

March 15, 2018;  Portland, OR, USA;  Portland Trail Blazers general manager Neil Olshey shares a laugh with guard Damian Lillard (0) before the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Moda Center.  Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Olshey has not publicly addressed the current investigation into Portland’s work environment.

League executives told ESPN the investigation has raised concerns that organizations may pursue ’cause’ breaches in contracts as a means of firing front-office staff they are unhappy with for various other reasons.

As a result, some team executives fear Portland could set a precedent by claiming a layoff is for reasons so that money remaining on contracts doesn’t have to be paid, ESPN said.

Portland is 8-8 to start this season, as All-Star point guard Damian Lillard struggles to find his form.

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–Field level media