SBD/July 26, 2017/Leagues and Governing Bodies

NBPA Leadership Program Aims To Help Past And Current NBAers Land Front Office Roles

Ratliff was one of the many former NBAers to attend the event in Las Vegas
The NBPA is "trying to help" both "current and former players land front-office jobs through its three-day Leadership Development Program," according to Marc Spears of THE UNDEFEATED. This year's program was "held during the Las Vegas Summer League from July 11-13." Free agent F Dahntay Jones took the program for the third time, and said, "I’m just trying to learn something every time." Other attendees included 76ers G Jerryd Bayless, Mavericks Gs J.J. Barea and Devin Harris, Jazz G Joe Johnson, Bulls F Anthony Morrow and former NBAer Theo Ratliff, among others. The program "featured opening remarks" from Raptors President Masai Ujiri and Wizards Senior VP/Basketball Operations Tommy Sheppard. Warriors GM & President of Basketball Operations Bob Myers "led a session" and Rockets GM Daryl Morey "talked about analytics." After a "session on scouting and player evaluation, the participants scouted four summer league games and participated in a summer league draft exercise." Former Cavaliers GM David Griffin and current Kings VP/Basketball Operations & GM Vlade Divac also "talked to participants." What "stood out most to Jones was Griffin explaining how much work there still was to do with contracts." Former NBAer Damien Wilkins said that the "highlight of the week came on the final day as participants took part in 'Speed Dating' with 23 NBA executives and front-office personnel." Hornets President & COO Fred Whitfield, new Cavs GM Koby Altman and Pacers President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard "took part in the exercise as interviewers." NBPA Chief of Player Programs Purvis Short: "We are trying to make a difference in terms of preparing guys to take on these positions." He added there needs to be “a better process in place” that leads to more African-Americans and former players landing executive roles for teams (THEUNDEFEATED.com, 7/25). 

CHANGES NEEDED? In N.Y., Carson Phillips writes the NBA "needs its own version of the Rooney Rule." The league currently is "telling us that it's cool for blacks to be the face of a franchise, but not the leader of a team's brain trust." Altman this week became only the third black GM "of the 30 in the league" alongside the Pelicans' Dell Demps and the Knicks' Scott Perry. Phillips: "That's only 10 percent. ... Add that to there being only a total of six general managers and presidents of basketball operations that are black in the NBA, and you can start to see the lack of diversity in front offices, especially when you realize that about 75 percent of the league is black." The biggest part of an NBA GM's job "isn't deciding who gets traded and who gets signed or determining the interworking's of a player's contract." Managing egos and "putting together the right personalities on a team trumps everything else." There "can be a disconnect" when 90% of GMs are white and almost 80% of players are black (NYDAILYNEWS.com, 7/26). 
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