Tag:Jeff Bower
Posted on: October 6, 2011 10:15 pm
Edited on: October 6, 2011 10:22 pm
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Blazers restart GM search; eye Bower, Stefanski?

Posted by Ben Golliverlarry-miller

Every month or so, it's a good idea to check in with the Portland Trail Blazers to get the latest update on their lack of progress towards hiring a general manager.

Thursday's news: The Oregonian reports that the GM search, which included interviews with more than four candidates, none of whom spoke directly with owner Paul Allen, will start over from scratch.
A league source said the Blazers have decided against hiring any of the candidates they have interviewed to date and that Blazers president Larry Miller spent Thursday calling them to relay the news they were no longer being considered for the job.

"I don't want to get into specific details, but what I will say is that we are expanding our search," Miller said. "We're going to expand our candidate pool."

Miller refused to divulge the people he has interviewed. He also would not detail any of the names on his new, expanded list. But The Oregonian has learned that former New Orleans Hornets GM Jeff Bower and Philadelphia 76ers GM Ed Stefanski will be among the targets.
Since firing former GM Rich Cho back in May, less than a year after the team's previous GM, Kevin Pritchard, was fired on the night of the 2010 NBA Draft, the Blazers have taken a number of unusual steps. They promoted their director of college Chad Buchanan to an "Acting GM" role, then later informed him he would not get to keep the position full-time. They interviewed a group of assistant GM candidates but apparently were unable to identify a favorite and decided to scrap that route.

Keep in mind: the Blazers currently have Cho's two assistant GMs under contract and two heads of scouting that date back to Pritchard's reign. All four men specialize in player evaluation and the team's front office lacks anyone with extensive experience negotiating contracts, an inside-out understanding of the collective bargaining agreement and experience planning and managing the team's salary cap. Those are huge holes. President Larry Miller has taken on some of those duties in the past, although he is supposed to be primarily responsible for overseeing the team's business operations.

After all this time, the Blazers are now turning their attention to former GMs, candidates that obviously boast a greater degree of executive experience than their previous candidates and would likely fit Portland's needs better than most first-time GM candidates. Why did it take Miller and his staff this long to hone in on experienced candidates? Who knows. He's failed to divulge his candidate targets from the beginning of the process, so it's difficult to say for certain. There is, of course, the obvious financial explanation: not hiring a GM saves the cost of at least one salary during the lockout, and multiple salaries if the GM is allowed to bring along one or two hand-picked subordinates.

Make no mistake: Bower and Stefanski are not A-list candidates. Bower most recently served as GM of the New Orleans Hornets but was pushed out in the summer of 2010, amidst rumors of star point guard Chris Paul's unhappiness. Stefanski has been the GM or president of the Philadelphia 76ers, who are recently under new ownership and reportedly considering a change of direction, since 2007. Prior to that, he was GM of the New Jersey Nets, where he had his most success.

Regardless of who gets the job and when, the new GM will be answering to both Miller and Allen, a demanding, eccentric and rash billionaire who is prone to impulsive decisions. Allen's expectation is a deep playoff run and it's unclear whether any candidate -- no matter how supremely talented -- can last more than a season without delivering at least one playoff series victory, something Portland hasn't managed since the 1999-2000 season, the longest such drought in the league.

Miller recently told CBSSports.com that he "hopes" to have a GM in place by the end of the lockout, but he stopped short of guaranteeing that, saying instead that the Blazers could make do with Buchanan heading up the rest of the staff as a stopgap measure.

For a team that annually has sky-high internal expectations, the Blazers sure seem to enjoy setting themselves up for failure recently.
Posted on: July 15, 2011 1:32 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2011 2:59 pm
 

Report: Raptors putting together GM shortlist



Posted by Matt Moore


The Raptors gave President of Basketball Ops (PBO) Bryan Colangelo an extension. They've hired their new coach, Dwane Casey. Now they're targeting a GM. Though Colangelo has every intention of staying at the top of the decision-making tree, he's looking for a general manager to handle some of the work. Yahoo! reports on some of the candidates on the shortlist: 
Former New Orleans Hornets GM Jeff Bower, Philadelphia 76ers GM Ed Stefanski and San Antonio assistant GM Dennis Lindsey are three focuses of the franchise to work under Toronto president Bryan Colangelo, sources said.

No formal interviews have been conducted, sources said, but Colangelo has started the process of getting permission from teams to talk to candidates. It may not be until August that Colangelo starts formal interviews for the job.
via Raptors look at GM candidates - NBA - Yahoo! Sports.

Stefanski is an interesting inclusion because it serves as an indication that the relationship between Stefanski and PBO Rod Thorn for the Sixers may not be as smooth as it was initially believed to be when Thorn joined the Sixers last year. If the Raptors believe Stefanski's available, especially for what is essentially a toothless position, it calls into question where Stefanski sits in the Sixers organization. 

Lindsey is part of the Buford-Popovich tree and therefore difficult to argue against. Bower is another interesting case because of the politics and history behind his departure from New Orleans. Bower made some brilliant moves in New Orleans, but also chose too many veteran long contracts. Being associated with a team that wound up having to be bought by the league isn't great, either. 

It'll be important to watch how the relationship between the new GM and Colangelo is managed. Colangelo will be fighting to keep power, but if this is a directive from Raptors ownership as part of his extension, it could be a dynamic relationship with complicated effects. 

Posted on: July 13, 2010 6:55 pm
Edited on: July 13, 2010 7:08 pm
 

Hornets and GM Bower "mutually" part ways

Posted by Royce Young

New Orleans GM Jeff Bower has been released by the Hornets, the team announced Tuesday afternoon . The team said Bower and the Hornets "mutually" parted ways.

Multiple others have put out more details with Adrian Wojnarowski mentioning that the team made the decision 7-10 days ago , but have waited on announcing it because the Hornets have used that time ot identify replacements.  As far as early leading contenders, obviously Kevin Pritchard, Danny Ferry and Thunder assistant GMs Troy Weaver and Rich Cho will likely be in the discussion.

But Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman mentions one other candidate. George Shinn's son Chad.

"Chad Shinn, son of owner George, also has been grooming 4 a prominent pos. in the org," Mayberry tweeted . "Chad loves the basketball side & would love GM title.
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So what brought this on? Early indications are that Bower's willingness to shop franchise player Chris Paul caused tension between Bower and George Shinn.

The Hornets have been a franchise in an odd state of transition for the past few years. First, Katrina made them homeless until Oklahoma City temporarily housed them. Then they got really good and made a serious run in the postseason. Then Bower spent a lot of money on guys like James Posey and Peja Stojakovic and NOLA found themselves in some financial distress. Then they fired former Coach of the Year Byron Scott, Bower appointed himself coach and the team missed the playoffs. Which catches us up to today, where Bower is let go.

New Orleans is surely an intriguing place for a high-profile candidate like Pritchard, assuming the Hornets pay up. Any time Chris Paul is already in place as the cornerstone, the job of rebuilding gets a lot easier and more attractive. Just don't try and trade him I guess.

 
 
 
 
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