Richard "Rich" Cho (born August 10, 1965) is the general manager of the Charlotte Bobcats of the National Basketball Association. Prior to the Bobcats, Cho was the general manager of the Portland Trail Blazers and the assistant general manager of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Cho is the first Asian American general manager in NBA history.
Education and early career
Born in Burma, Cho immigrated with his family to the United States in 1968. They were sponsored by a family in Fort Wayne, Indiana before moving to Federal Way, Washington. Cho's father worked the night shift at a convenience store to support the family. Cho graduated from Decatur High School and went on to Washington State University, where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering. He worked as an engineer at Boeing from 1990 to 1995.
In 1995, he was hired as an intern for the Seattle SuperSonics while finishing a law degree from Pepperdine University School of Law. In 1997, he earned the degree and was hired as the SuperSonics' director of basketball affairs. In 2000, he was promoted to assistant general manager. Between 2000 and 2008 the Sonics made the playoffs twice. The high point was the 2004-05 season when the team advanced to the second round of the playoffs for the only time since 1997-98. However it was followed by several more down seasons culminating in a record of 20-62 during the 2007-08 season, the worst in franchise history. In 2008, Cho relocated to Oklahoma City when the league allowed the team under new ownership to leave Seattle. The team was renamed the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Thunder utilized Cho's background in both law and mathematics when negotiating trades, free agent signings, and interpreting the NBA's complex collective bargaining agreement. The Thunder entered the playoffs in 2009-10 with a record of 50-32.
In July 2010, Cho returned to the Pacific Northwest, hired as the ninth general manager of the Portland Trail Blazers, replacing Kevin Pritchard, who was fired the previous month. Cho himself was fired less than a year after being hired. On June 14, 2011, the Charlotte Bobcats hired Cho as their new general manager, promoting previous GM Rod Higgins to president of basketball operations.
Cho and his wife Julie have two young daughters.
- "Trail Blazers name Cho General Manager" (Press release). Portland Trail Blazers. July 19, 2010. Retrieved July 19, 2010.
- Ziller, Tom (July 19, 2010). "Portland Trail Blazers Name Rich Cho General Manager". Fanhouse.com. Retrieved July 19, 2010.
- Quick, Jason (July 20, 2010). "New general manager Rich Cho had the answers the Blazers wanted in his backpack". The Oregonian. Retrieved July 20, 2010.
- Smith, Brian T. (July 19, 2010). "Humbled Cho reflects on dream-like journey". The Columbian. Retrieved July 19, 2010.
- "Seattle SuperSonics 2007 Media Guide" (PDF). Oklahoma City Thunder. p. 28. Retrieved July 19, 2010.
- "Trail Blazers make change in general manager position" (Press release). Portland Trail Blazers. May 23, 2011. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
- "Larry Miller Letter to Fans" (Press release). Portland Trail Blazers. July 19, 2010. Retrieved July 20, 2010.
|Portland Trail Blazers general manager
Chad Buchanan (interim)