Blazers officially name Branch, Rosenberry assistant GMs

Cho's first hires as GM

By Brian T. Smith, Columbian Sports Writer

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The Portland Trail Blazers officially hired Bill Branch and Steve Rosenberry on Thursday as assistant general managers, Blazers general manager Rich Cho announced.

The Columbian first reported the pending hires Tuesday.

Branch’s responsibilities will center on NBA talent along with Portland director of NBA scouting Michael Born. Rosenberry and Blazers director of college scouting Chad Buchanan will focus on the college ranks.

“I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with both Bill and Steve and have always been impressed by their tremendous basketball acumen, work ethic and character,” Cho said. “I am thrilled to have them join me, Chad and Mike as part of our front office staff.”

Branch, 44, joins the Blazers from Oklahoma City, where he worked alongside Cho for the past three seasons as the team’s director of pro player personnel. A 23-year NBA veteran, Branch worked for Denver from 1997-2007, first as an advance scout and for the last five years of his tenure as assistant coach and director of scouting. He spent 1987-97 with Charlotte.

“I’m very excited to have the opportunity to work for a team with such a rich tradition, great fan base and talented staff,” said Branch. “I look forward to doing everything I can to contribute and help the Blazers move forward and build upon some great pieces.”

Rosenberry, 55, most recently served as director of pro personnel/college scouting with Atlanta from 2008-10. Rosenberry got his NBA start with Seattle in 1985, and worked for six seasons as a scout before joining the Hornets in a similar capacity from 1991-94. He returned to Seattle in 1994 and then spent the next 13 seasons with the SuperSonics, serving as director of scouting until 2007. Before joining the Hawks in 2008, Rosenberry spent the 2007-08 season as a consultant with Milwaukee.

Rosenberry played two seasons for the Lancaster Red Roses of the Continental Basketball Association from 1978-80. He then spent two years in Europe with the McGregor Power All-Stars before pursuing a basketball management career in the NBA.

“I am grateful to have the opportunity to work with Rich, and while I have tremendous respect for him as a basketball person, he’s been a great friend throughout the years,” said Rosenberry. “It’s exciting to be a part of an organization with a storied history and winning tradition such as Portland’s.”

Branch and Rosenberry will start their new jobs next week in preparation for the 2010-11 season.