Basketball fans on Friday learned that Chris McGowan had resigned as the president of the Portland Trail Blazers. Many people instantly wondered whether McGowan’s resignation was related to the investigation into the workplace environment created by team general manager Neil Olshey.
McGowan says his resignation is unrelated to the investigation. Instead, a report from longtime Blazers reporter Jason Quick provides insight into McGowan’s decision.
According to Quick, McGowan resigned because he was unhappy with his role in the organization. Although he was president of the Blazers, McGowan was not in charge of the messaging for the team. McGowan reportedly wanted to be the primary spokesperson for the Blazers but was denied that opportunity by team owner Jody Allen.
Quick reports that McGowan approached Allen twice during the summer about becoming the person in charge of the messaging for the franchise and was turned down both times.
McGowan apparently felt he operated better under the late Paul Allen, who died in 2018 and left the team to his sister.
“I appreciated that Paul gave me a chance to work on things he was passionate about, but the nature of the job changed when Paul passed. And I just wasn’t super satisfied with that. But it was totally understandable, I don’t think it was anything against me. This was just the time to do it. I’m looking forward to pursuing other opportunities,” McGowan said.
The timing of the resignation makes some sense too. McGowan’s contract was set to expire in June, and the sides had until Dec. 31 to decide if he would get an extension. Quick’s article is well worth a read for those interested in the full story.