Posted Jul 7 2012 4:11PM
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Larry Miller has resigned as president of the Portland Trail Blazers.
The team announced Miller's surprising departure Saturday. The team says he is leaving to take a position with another Portland-area business.
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 came to the Blazers from Nike's Jordan Brand, and The Oregonian reported Saturday morning that he is leaving the Blazers to return to the company.
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.
Mike Conley draws the foul on Tony Parker with the shot-fake and sinks the tough jumper.
Zach Randolph gathers the rebound off the Tayshaun Prince miss and puts it back.
|Pondexter's Bucket and Foul|
Quincy Pondexter gets inside for the tough reverse layup and the foul.
|Duncand to Diaw|
Tim Duncan hits Boris Diaw underneath with a pretty bounce-pass for the layup.
|Prince's Chasedown Block|
Tayshaun Prince missed the jumper but hustles back for the chasedown block on Boris Diaw at the other end.