By Jason Cruz
Northwest Asian Weekly
Rich Cho fired by Charlotte Hornets
The Charlotte Hornets announced earlier this year that Rich Cho would not return as its general manager.
The Hornets did not make the playoffs for the second straight year and suffered a losing season. Cho, who served as the team’s general manager since 2011, was dismissed in order for the team to find a new direction.
“Rich worked tirelessly on behalf of our team and instituted a number of management tools that have benefited our organization,” said Hornets owner and former NBA player Michael Jordan in a press release.
Despite moving the franchise forward, some critics point to decisions made in player acquisition through the NBA draft and free agency. Graciously, Cho thanked the team for the opportunity. “I will always be grateful for my experience with the franchise.”
Cho started his career in the NBA with the Seattle Supersonics, when he was hired as an intern while finishing his law degree at Pepperdine University School of Law. He worked for the Sonics in 1997 and through its relocation to Oklahoma City in 2008. In 2010, he returned to the Northwest as the general manager for the Portland Trailblazers. He was let go within a year, but found a job with the Hornets.
Cho, a Boeing engineer before going to law school, will be looking for another job with an NBA team next season. Cho might be doing some more writing in the offseason, as he has a blog about different restaurants across the country he has visited while traveling during the NBA season. Cho started the website, “Bigtime Bites,” which he made so that “food lovers can share their favorite dishes from around the world.” Through his travels, Cho explores different restaurants and gives “scouting reports” on the favorite dishes he discovers. Visitors can post their own experiences from across the globe.
Khaira only Indian player in NHL
While the NHL playoffs begin, the Edmonton Oilers will not be a part of it. However, the Oilers have the distinction of having the only player of Indian descent on its team. Jujhar Khaira is just the third player of Punjabi descent to play in the NHL. In his second full season, the 23-year-old plays left wing. Khaira, who was born in Surrey, British Columbia, comes from an athletic family — his parents were prominent volleyball players in British Columbia in the 1980s. His brother plays in the Western Hockey League.
Khaira was mentioned by a member of Canada’s Parliament during an official sitting of Parliament in front of the prime minister. Randeep Sarai mentioned Khaira scoring his first goal in the NHL.
The 6-foot-4 Khaira was a central figure during a South Asian Celebration Night last month during a Vancouver Canucks game against Khaira’s Oilers. In addition to Khaira, the other two Indian hockey players to be in the league were honored. There are approximately 4 percent of Canadians who are of Indian descent, according to a 2016 Canadian survey.
Woods returns to the Masters
Tiger Woods made his triumphant return to the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Ga. during the first week of April. It was Woods’ first time back since 2015, as he has been beset with back injuries and personal issues. In the lead up to the Masters, Woods tied for second in a warm-up event prior to the big tournament. Woods, who has won four Masters, stayed close for the first day and made the cut. But it was clear that the magic of years gone by was not with him this year. He did end up finishing a respectable 32nd in the field. The good news for Woods is that he may have broken through and put his injuries past him.
Cardinals’ Pham may be a darkhorse for National League MVP
As the baseball season begins, many analysts and fans like to pick out potential players to win the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. Tommy Pham, an outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals, is a dark horse candidate to become MVP. Pham, who is Black and Vietnamese, is entering his fifth major league season.
The 30-year-old finished 11th in MVP voting last season, as he hit 23 home runs and 73 runs batted in. Last year was a career year as Pham had personal bests in playing the most games and posting the best batting average.
Pham grew up in Las Vegas, not knowing his father who is in federal prison. His father was a standout football player, but became involved with drugs and crime, landing him in jail. He grew up with his twin sister and single mother, who tried to make ends meet by working two jobs. Pham was an A student in high school, but did not go to college as baseball was his life.
Before making it with the Cards last year, Pham bounced between the minor leagues and the big-league team. He was concerned about his future and grew disenchanted with the game. His friends told him to stick with it. After an injury, Pham was brought up to the major league roster in 2017 and took advantage of his opportunity. This season, the Cardinals made him the starting center fielder and a key player on the team.
Jason can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.