Portland Trail Blazers president of basketball operations Neil Olshey reportedly is under investigation for allegations of “workplace misconduct.”
The Blazers released a statement on Saturday confirming an investigation into “non-player personnel” but did not include Olshey’s name:
“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. While we cannot comment on this pending matter, we are committed to continuing to build an organization that positively impacts our colleagues, communities and the world in which we live and play.”
Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports reported that Olshey created a “toxic” workplace with intimidation, citing team employees. Staffers said they have endured “profanity-laced tirades” and other bullying tactics, leading to mental and physical stress. At least one team employee reported potential misconduct that led to the investigation, according to The Athletic.
O’Melveny & Myers began interviewing members of the Portland front office last week, according to Haynes, who also reports that the firm is expected to present its findings to team president Jody Allen soon.
Olshey has been with the Blazers since June 2012 after spending nine years in the Los Angeles Clippers organization. He was first brought in as the general manager before being promoted to president of basketball operations in 2015.
The Blazers are 4-5 to begin the season under first-year head coach Chauncey Billups. Olshey vocally supported Billups at the time of his hiring amid concerns about Billups’ involvement in a 1997 rape allegation. Olshey said the team commissioned an independent investigation into the rape allegation before hiring Billups, as well.