Charlotte Hornets general manager Rich Cho joins Bleacher Report’s Jordan Brenner on The Full 48 podcast to discuss the NBA offseason, including his team’s decision to trade for Dwight Howard and the drafting of 11th-overall pick Malik Monk. He also breaks down Kemba Walker’s role on the court, working with Hornets owner Michael Jordan and his “Big Time Bites” food blog.
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On big takeaways from the offseason
I think for us the biggest thing is a lot of the good players—a lot of the great players—are going West, which I definitely welcome (laughs). Let’s make the West stronger and the East weaker if we could.
On fixing East-West disparity
Those things go in cycles, so I don’t really think there’s that much you can do about it or should do about it … those things go in cycles.
On working with Michael Jordan
It’s great. MJ has been really supportive. I really like working for him. He’s really, really smart; he’s savvy; he’s very, very competitive. At the same time, he’s got a great sense of humor and a good way about it, and I love working for him.
On introducing Jordan to his family
My first year here—this was the end of a lockout—my mom and brothers came to visit for a game and after the game—I think we were playing the Hawks—and after the game I came up to my office to get my backpack and my mom and brothers were in here, and MJ‘s office is just basically next door.
So he was walking by and he came in and he was very gracious … he spoke to them for a few minutes and was very, very nice; and then he left and the first thing my mom said was, “Who was that?”
On where the Hornets stand after the summer
We feel pretty good about the summer and we feel like we’re gonna be in the mix for the playoffs.
On what to expect from Dwight Howard
I think he’s definitely got some good years left in him. He’s only 31 years old and he’s in great shape—he keeps himself in great shape. He averaged a double-double again last year, so I think he’s gonna be a welcomed addition for us on both ends of the floor.
On where Kemba is in his career progress
I definitely think he’s one of the best point guards in the league. He had a career year last year, topped by the All-Star Game. And I think with Kemba there’s still room to grow. He shot 40 percent from three last year; challenge for him is to keep that up and maybe even improving on that.
He’s a big part of the team, he’s a leader of our team, and I know he’s excited about the additions we’ve made as well, and we’re looking forward to hopefully having him be an All-Star for years to come.
On drafting Malik Monk
We’re really excited about Malik. Another area that we were trying to address during the offseason was our overall depth and some scoring off the bench, so he definitely addresses that.
He’s an explosive scorer, he’s a very, very good shooter and I look for him to have a nice rookie season.
On his “Big Time Bites” food blog
The one thing I wanted to do was make it different than any other food blog because there’s a gazillion food blogs out there and I wanted mine to be different. The things that are different about it are 1) It has a sports theme to it, so all my reviews are called “Scouting Report” and as a visitor to the site you can put in your own “Scouting Report.”
… there’s five ratings: rotation, starter, All-Star, franchise and Hall of Fame.
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