Andy Giegerich of the Portland Business Journal has an interview with Portland Trail Blazers president Chris McGowan, in which he discusses his acclimation to the city, relationship with owner Paul Allen, plans for staffing and some back history.

PBJ: The one thing I always wonder about is the level of involvement (owner Paul Allen and his Vulcan Ventures group) has (with the Blazers). Was that a big transition for you because they clearly have a big say about what goes on in Portland? Unless I'm wrong...

McGowan: To some degree, it's wrong. Paul has the power and he hires a CEO to run the business. He's there with resources when you need it. I do have a good network of people in Seattle to communicate with for whatever I need, and you need to manage up in terms of things you should communicate to your ownership group. If things are or aren't going according to plan, you need to make them aware of that so there are no surprises. That's very similar to what I had to do in L.A. with the owner of the team being in Denver. It's actually very familiar to me. I had to operate the same way. We have regular communication with each other, which is helpful.

Recent layoffs

McGowan: Right. The organization was bloated compared to other teams I'd studied. To some degree, we still are. To me, I'm more focused on getting the structure right, but our business needs change every year. I tweak things a lot, and there could be more (reductions) to be determined in this area, maybe a couple more here and there ... I think for next nine to 12 months, there might be some of that, but the larger reductions are done. I'd said I wanted to have it done by Feb. 15, but I actually did it in early January. I didn't want it hanging over peoples' heads. At the same time, I didn't want to do it too quickly because I'm still assessing everything.