Blazers hire firm to look at workplace environment concerns

By AP staff (AP)
PORTLAND, Ore. Nov. 6, 2021 7:59 p.m.

The Portland Trail Blazers have hired an outside firm to investigate workplace environment concerns.

Reports of the investigation surfaced Friday night. Both The Athletic and Yahoo Sports reported the probe stemmed from allegations of workplace misconduct involving Neil Olshey, the president of basketball operations and general manager for the organization.


The Blazers released a statement Saturday confirming the investigation. But it did not name Olshey.

“The Portland Trail Blazers organization was recently notified of concerns around workplace environment by non-player personnel at the practice facility. In response, we immediately engaged O’Melveny & Myers, an outside firm with significant expertise in this area, to conduct a full, fair and independent review into these concerns and will take appropriate action based on its outcome," the team statement said.

Portland Trail Blazers general manager Neil Olshey talks to media.

General manager Neil Olshey talks to media after announcing Chauncey Billups as the head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers at the team's practice facility in Tualatin, Ore., Tuesday, June 29, 2021.

Craig Mitchelldyer / AP

The statement said the Blazers could not comment further on the matter.

Olshey has been general manager of the Blazers since 2012.

Back in July, OPB conducted its own investigation into the extent of the Blazers’ investigation into decades-old rape allegations against the team’s new head coach, Chauncey Billups.

Olshey said the team had corroborated Billups’ recollection that “nothing nonconsensual” happened during the alleged November 1997 incident between Billups and his accuser, who civil court filings identify under the pseudonym, Jane Doe. “We did everything in our power to vet that incident,” Olshey said.

OPB attempted to retrace the team’s investigation into Billups. While the events of that November 1997 night remain in dispute, OPB found a number of basic steps the Trail Blazers didn’t appear to take in their review. The team declined to answer any of OPB’s questions about the thoroughness and intent of its investigation.