Rich Cho’s Rise to His Newest Title: Portland Trail Blazers GM

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Portland Trail Blazers Head Coach Nate McMillan and Guard Brandon Roy have a new general manager in town -- former Thunder assistant GM Rich Cho

REUTERS/Steve Dipaola

The Pacific-Northwest native has plenty of NBA experience. But his professional career started with a completely different flight path.

The Trail Blazers named Rich Cho as their general manager on Monday. The current league executive and former Blazers intern spent the last nine years as an assistant GM with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

NBA general managers often have basketball in their blood from prior careers as players (think of the Pistons’ Joe Dumars, Pacers’ Larry Bird or Bulls’ John Paxson). But as the Oregonian‘s Mike Tokito explains, Cho’s first pro post was quite different as an engineer at Boeing.

In an ironic twist, Cho spent a great deal of time on airplanes to separate himself as the Blazers’ prime candidate for their opening. After successful meetings with President Larry Miller and Head Coach Nate McMillan in Las Vegas, Tokito reported that Cho flew all the way to Helsinki, Finland for the final run-through with club owner Paul Allen.