Portland Trail Blazers president Larry Miller resigns
“We have an excellent general manager in place in Neil Olshey, so I feel the team is on solid ground and headed in the right direction,” said Larry Miller. “Off the court, business is great. The Rose Garden is packed every night and the passion of Trail Blazers fans has never been better.”
The 61-year-old Larry Miller still had two years remaining on his contract when he handed over his resignation to the Portland Trail Blazers’ owner Paul Allen.
“I greatly enjoyed my time with the Portland Trail Blazers," stated Larry Miller. "It was an incredible experience and I'll be forever grateful to Paul Allen for giving me the opportunity and honor to lead what I believe to be one of the best teams in all of sports."
The Oregonian reported earlier that Larry Miller will be resuming his former position with Nike as president for Brand Jordan, a job which he held throughout the period of 199to 2006, until he joined the Trail Blazers.
“It felt like it is the right time, and the right thing for me,’’ observed Larry Miller.
Larry Miller was a key part of rejuvenating the financial success of the Portland Trail Blazers after Paul Allen lost the Rose Garden due to bankruptcy. The arena was bought back in 2007. After joining the franchise, Larry Miller made the best use of his accounting and business degrees so that the arena was packed at every game. Larry Bird’s success in the books was marked by a 192 straight sellouts at the arena. The Portland Trail Blazers also led the Western Conference in average home fan base attendance during a four season span.
“We got more focused on the bottom line,’’ said Larry Miller in the past. “Our goal became not only to win on the court, but off the court, and that means running a viable business.’’
The Portland Trail Blazers had other on-court success with Larry Miller leading the franchise to three straight playoffs appearances during 2009 to 2011, a first-time since the 2001 to 2003 trips. The Portland Trail Blazers also had victories in 54 games and earned their first berth in the division since the 1998 season, with a shared Northwestern division title in the 2008 season.
"It is sad to see Larry leaving the Blazers and I want to thank him for his leadership and contributions to the franchise," stated Paul Allen, who had signed Larry Miller to the Portland Trail Blazers in 2007. "Larry helped manage a period of significant growth and I wish him all the best as he takes on this opportunity."
Until a new president is found, Portland Trail Blazers chief operating officer Sarah Mensah will manage the business operations, while franchise general manager Neil Oshley will be in charge of basketball operations.