SBD/October 7, 2013/People and Pop Culture

Olshey Oversees Trail Blazers Revamp As He Begins To Leave Mark On Franchise

Olshey has grown to appreciate Portland's dedication to the Blazers
Trail Blazers GM NEIL OLSHEY has "overhauled the roster and coaching staff, reshaped the strength and training staff, tweaked the video department, spearheaded a remodel of the practice facility and recalibrated the culture of the franchise" since he "took over the most toxic GM job in the NBA" 15 months ago, according to Joe Freeman of the Portland OREGONIAN. His "imprint is everywhere," and "quickly, he has blossomed into the leader and voice of a franchise that so desperately needed one." With "big-picture vision, moxie, an eye for talent and a unique ability to appease a billionaire owner, players and coaches with equal savvy, Olshey has steered the franchise into as stable a position as it has been in recent memory." Every move Olshey has made since Day One has "been designed to create stability and a winning culture in the organization." He "spearheaded" a $4M practice facility remodel, and by the time it is finished next month, it "will be first-rate and state of the art, featuring everything from a plush 30-seat theater for watching game film to a new dining area that includes a private chef and nutritionist." The city of Portland has "never been a sought-after destination for free agents, so Olshey is trying to create a 'sanctuary' for players that will help elevate Portland’s league-wide reputation." Olshey after spending a summer in Portland "grew to appreciate the people and the city's rabid dedication to the Blazers." He said, "You hold yourself to a higher standard because there’s much more of a commitment on a community level to the team. You don’t want to let everybody down. So we're going to build this team taking into consideration the passion of the Trail Blazers fan base" (Portland OREGONIAN, 10/6).
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