SBD/September 9, 2013/People and Pop Culture

Former NBA Deputy Commissioner Russ Granik Inducted To Basketball HOF

Granik was a major player in changing int'l basketball rules in the '80s
Former NBA Deputy Commissioner RUSS GRANIK was one of 12 honorees at yesterday's Basketball HOF Enshrinement Ceremony, and he "did a solid job with his remarks, which began by poking fun at the duty that both" he and NBA Deputy Commissioner & COO ADAM SILVER are most known for, according to Jason Remillard of the Springfield REPUBLICAN. Granik said, "I checked my entry on Wikipedia. At first I thought it was cool, being with all those historical figures, until I saw the brief bio, which starts something like this: Russ Granik, American sports executive, best known as the announcer for second-round picks at the NBA Draft" (MASSLIVE.com, 9/8). In N.Y., Mitch Lawrence wrote Granik's election "as a contributor raised some eyebrows, but not to the people who remember how DAVID STERN's former right-hand man worked behind the scenes in the 1980's to ensure that international players would be able to play in the NBA, without facing repercussions back home." Granik had "a major say in getting international rules changed to allow players to return to their countries and keep their eligibility for Olympic competition" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/8). Granik said of the biggest challenge getting the Dream Team off the ground, "I think the hardest part turned out to be dealing with all the sponsor issues. You had a structure in the Olympics where, basically, players were expected to cede all their likeness rights at that time. And yet here we had a group of players that had contracted many of those rights to very substantial companies. That turned out to be very tricky, to get all of that worked out." NBA.com's Scott Howard-Cooper noted Granik chose USA Basketball Chair JERRY COLANGELO "to be his presenter" (NBA.com, 9/8).
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