Brian talked with Ramona Shelburne Tuesday afternoon to talk about the new hiring of Neil Olshey to GM of Trail Blazers. Ramona has insider news on the hiring and how Portland snatched Olshey from the Clippers.
Brian and Ramona first dived into Neil’s beginnings from an actor to then the Director of Player Development for SFX Sports Group, Inc., where he created, organized and conducted NBA pre-draft training camps. Ramona mentioned how Mike Dunleavy, former GM of the Clippers, hired Olshey to help around the office. Olshey eventually rose the ranks quickly and became the de facto GM of Clippers along with having Clippers ownership on his side.
Shelburne went into Olshey’s great player and executive relationships he has had. One that helped them this year was with Chris Paul and how Olshey talked with Paul for almost an hour to explain to him what he is doing to transform the Clippers. She then went into his great executive relationship he has with Clippers ownership and how he was able to spend money and get players to make the Clippers into a playoff team.
She was a sports columnist for the Los Angeles Daily News until the end of 2009, when she joined ESPNLosAngeles.com. She spent seven years at the Daily News as well. Shelburne says Olshey is very good at explaining all his moves and decisions, and is friendly toward the media. She says, though, that for as good as Olshey can be with the media, he is not afraid to be honest and transparent about his executive decisions.
Ramona added that Olshey loves the scouting aspect of his job, and that Portland’s two lottery picks played a big role in bringing him to Portland, a similar situation to how he began his tenure with the Clippers.