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Reports: Charlotte Hornets to not extend Rich Cho's contract, look to hire former Lakers GM

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News
300   //    21 Feb 2018, 03:00 IST

Rich Cho brought
Rich Cho brought in Dwight Howard during the 2017 off-season

What's the story?

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN is reporting that the Charlotte Hornets will not be renewing the contract of general manager Rich Cho. The Hornets announced on Tuesday that a search for a new GM will begin immediately.

In case you didn't know...

Cho's executive career in the NBA began in 1997 for the Seattle SuperSonics as director of basketball affairs before being promoted to assistant general manager in 2000. He would stay with the team through the transition to Oklahoma City Thunder until 2010 when he was named the GM for the Portland Trail Blazers.

The heart of the matter

According to Wojnarowski, Hornets owner Michael Jordan is targeting former Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak as the replacement for Cho.

Cho was hired as the GM of the Hornets during the summer of 2011. During that time, Charlotte had a record of 212-321 with a winning percentage of .398. During that time, they only made the playoffs twice, losing in the first round each time to the Miami Heat in 2014 and 2016.

Michael Jordan would provide the following statement about Cho on Tuesday:

"I want to thank Rich for all of his hard work with the Charlotte Hornets organization through the years and wish him and his family the best in the future. Rich worked tirelessly on behalf of our team and instituted a number of management tools that have benefited our organization. We are deeply committed to our fans and to the city of Charlotte to provide a consistent winner on the court. The search will now begin for our next head of basketball operations who will help us achieve that goal."

Kupchak was made the general manager of the Los Angeles Lakers after succeeding Jerry West in 2000 and would hold that title until February of 2017. During his tenure as Lakers GM, they won a total of seven NBA Championships. Kupchak also played for the Lakers from 1981 to 1986 after five seasons with the Washington Bullets.

What's next?

Charlotte Hornets (24-33) currently sit in 10th place within the Eastern Conference, five and a half games behind the eighth seed Miami Heat. Their first game after the All-Star Break will be against the Brooklyn Nets (19-40) on Thursday, 22 February.

Author's take

While the Hornets were showing some signs of progress with the two playoff appearances over the past four years, it is evident with a 24-33 record this year that the success couldn't be sustained and it's time for a change. If Michael Jordan can be paired up with Mitch Kupchak, there could be something magical happening in Charlotte.

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