Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NBA [Print without images]

Saturday, July 7, 2012
Blazers prez Larry Miller resigns

ESPN.com news services

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Larry Miller has resigned as president of the Portland Trail Blazers.

The team announced Miller's surprising departure Saturday.

We have an excellent general manager in place in Neil Olshey, so I feel the team is on solid ground and headed in the right direction. Off the court, business is great. The Rose Garden is packed every night and the passion of Trail Blazers fans has never been better.

-- Exiting Blazers president Larry Miller

According to The Oregonian, Miller will return to Nike as president of Brand Jordan, the same title he held at the company from 1999-2006.

"It felt like it is the right time, and the right thing for me,'' Miller told the Portland newspaper.

Miller was president of the Blazers the past five years. He helped oversee the team's hiring of Neil Olshey as general manager early last month.

During Miller's tenure, the Blazers returned to the postseason for the first time in six seasons, making three straight trips to the playoffs from 2009-2011. Portland was 28-38 last season and missed the playoffs.

Additionally, the Blazers have led the Western Conference in average home attendance for the last four seasons.

"We have an excellent general manager in place in Neil Olshey, so I feel the team is on solid ground and headed in the right direction," Miller said in a statement released by the team. "Off the court, business is great. The Rose Garden is packed every night and the passion of Trail Blazers fans has never been better."

On Twitter, Blazers owner Paul Allen said it was "sad to see Larry Miller leave" for another job and that a search for his replacement is under way.

Miller had two years left on his contract with the Blazers.

The Blazers said Olshey will handle basketball operations in Miller's absence and Sarah Mensah, the team's chief operating officer, will be in charge of business operations.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.