Hornets start search for new GM after Rich Cho’s exit

Charlotte Hornets NBA basketball player Dwight Howard, center, speaks to the media as general manager Rich Cho, right, and head coach Steve Clifford, left, look on during a news conference in Charlotte, N.C., Monday, June 26, 2017 after being traded to the Hornets by the Atlanta Hawks last week. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

The Charlotte Hornets are opening a search for a new general manager.

The franchise announced that it will not renew the contract of Rich Cho, who was hired for the position in June 2011, and will begin their search immediately.

“It’s been a privilege to serve as the Charlotte Hornets’ General Manager for the past seven years,” Cho said in a statement. “I want to thank Michael Jordan, Curtis Polk, and the entire organization for giving me that opportunity, and for their support since that moment. I also want to thank the basketball and business operations staffs, head coach Steve Clifford and his staff, and our players for their commitment to excellence and success.

“Charlotte is a special city with deeply loyal fans and I will always be grateful for my experience with the franchise.”

Cho assumed day-to-day responsibilities of the basketball operations department in 2014. Since that time, the team has extended the core of Kemba Walker, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marvin Williams and Cody Zeller and traded for and extended Nic Batum, among other notable moves. Hired two weeks before the organization drafted Walker in 2011, Cho’s draft record has since been spotty with four top-10 picks spent on Kidd-Gilchrist (No. 2 overall), Cody Zeller (No. 4 overall), Noah Vonleh and Frank Kaminsky.

During Cho’s tenure the Hornets made two playoff appearances — two first-round exits in 2014 and 2016. The team currently owns a 24-33 record.

“I want to thank Rich for all of his hard work with the Charlotte Hornets organization through the years and wish him and his family the best in the future,” Hornets Chairman Michael Jordan said in a statement. “Rich worked tirelessly on behalf of our team and instituted a number of management tools that have benefited our organization. We are deeply committed to our fans and to the city of Charlotte to provide a consistent winner on the court. The search will now begin for our next head of basketball operations who will help us achieve that goal.”