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Rod Thorn To Retire From League Office

2:18pm: Vandeweghe will likely hold the job next, Thorn also said to the gathered media, Beck notes (on Twitter).

2:05pm: Thorn has confirmed his retirement plans to reporters, including Howard Beck of Bleacher Report (Twitter link).

9:58am: NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn plans to retire in August, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The longtime league and team executive is in charge of day-to-day matters, including most player suspensions, for the NBA, a role to which he returned in 2013 after a 14-year run in the position that ended in 2000. NBA vice president of basketball operations Kiki Vandeweghe is a strong candidate to replace the 73-year-old Thorn, Wojnarowski hears.

The news is no major surprise to the NBA, since the plan when Thorn rejoined the league office was for him to serve only two years while the NBA transitioned to someone who would fill the position for the long run, Wojnarowski reports. Still, Thorn will leave behind a lengthy legacy that includes time as a player, coach and, most prominently, an executive. Thorn was GM of the Bulls when they drafted Michael Jordan, Wojnarowski points out, and he later ran basketball operations for the Nets and the Sixers. Thorn was head coach of the Bulls for part of the 1981/82 season, and he was also a head coach in the ABA with the Spirits of St. Louis in 1975/76, a few years after he finished an eight-year NBA playing career.

Thorn’s most recent stop with a team was in Philadelphia, where he oversaw the team’s personnel moves as president and chief operating officer from 2010 to 2013. The club moved Tony DiLeo into the GM role in September 2012 as Thorn transitioned into more of a consultant for the team. Still, Thorn was at the controls in August 2012, when the Sixers pulled the trigger on their ill-fated acquisition of Andrew Bynum. Thorn nonetheless made plenty of moves that worked out during his time, earning Executive of the Year honors with the Nets in 2002 as that team made its first of back-to-back appearances in the NBA Finals.

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