PORTLAND, Ore. — The Portland Trail Blazers have fired president of basketball operations Neil Olshey, the team announced in a statement Friday morning.
Joe Cronin, the team's director of player personnel, has been promoted to interim general manager, the team announced. The organization will conduct a search for a permanent replacement.
The team enlisted law firm O'Melveny & Meyer to conduct an independent review in early November after the team was "notified of concerns around workplace environment." According to Yahoo Sports, employees described a "toxic, hostile work environment where staff members have been subjected to intimidation and profanity-laced tirades, among other bullying tactics."
In Friday's statement, the organization said it decided to fire Olshey because of violations of the team's code of conduct.
"Following the conclusion of the independent review of concerns and complaints around our workplace environment at the practice facility, the Portland Trail Blazers organization has decided to terminate General Manager and President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey, effective immediately due to violations of the Portland Trail Blazers' Code of Conduct," the team said in the statement.
The organization said it wouldn't release or discuss the results of the investigation, "out of respect for those who candidly participated in that privileged investigation."
"We are confident that these changes will help build a more positive and respectful working environment," the statement said.
Longtime Trail Blazers insider Dwight Jaynes said although he got along with Olshey while covering the team, he did alienate people with his gruff demeanor. But that the allegations against the GM took it to another level.
"There must have been something concrete there for them to come to that conclusion; it’s a difficult resolution for Olshey who I think will be tainted by this in his search for further jobs," said Jaynes.
Oregonian Sports Columnist John Canzano has also covered the Blazers for a long time, both on and off the court. He said he is not surprised by the outcome of the investigation and that, coupled with the GM's performance on the basketball side, made his firing welcome news for most.
"I really wish no personal ill will towards Neil Olshey, but this is a decision I think the fan base is galvanized on, people who’ve dealt with Neil Olshey are galvanized on," said Canzano. "I don’t see anybody protesting this right now and in a strange way this is like the one basketball decision everyone agrees upon."
This is the second departure of a top Blazers official in the past month. On Nov. 12, Chris McGowan, the team's president and CEO since October 2012, resigned after nine seasons with the team.
Olshey, 56, was hired as Blazers general manager in 2012. He was promoted to president of basketball operations in 2015. Before coming to Portland, he worked for the Clippers for nine years.
During Olshey's tenure, the Blazers made the playoffs eight consecutive seasons. This season, Portland is 11-12 and in ninth place in the Western Conference.