SBJ/20090817/What I Like

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  • Gail Hunter, Senior Vice President, Events and Attractions, NBA


    “I use what I learned playing basketball and volleyball competitively in every situation in life, both business and personal.”

    What I like …

    An insight: “Necessity is the mother of invention.”

    An influential person in my career: Chuck Armstrong, president, Seattle Mariners.

    An out-of-the-box idea: Twitter. Who knew people cared about people eating popcorn at home in front of their TV?

    A timeless idea: Krazy Glue. Never be without it.

    A sports facility: Safeco Field, where baseball is meant to be enjoyed.

    A sports event: NCAA Final Four (1982, 1993, 2005, 2009).

    A sports promo: ESPN commercials. I’m particularly fond of the Boston Celtics’ “Three Amigos” spot.

    A business decision: No bonuses for company executives if the company is not profitable.

    A TV ad campaign: Budweiser Clydesdale commercials. They remain timeless and have the ability to make us laugh, cry and salute our heroes.

    A print ad campaign: Absolut vodka.

    A brand: Starbucks. What does the word “Venti” mean other than one really large cup of Starbucks coffee?

    A trend: Social networking.

    A decision-maker: Rick Welts, president and CEO, Phoenix Suns.

    A competitor’s idea: The NHL’s outdoor game.

    A story that bears watching: Sponsor identification on team jerseys.

    An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: Netflix.

    A fantasy job: Broadway lighting designer.

    What I Like about …

    My job: The variety of people and assignments that I come into contact with.

    Sports: The fact that, most times, practice and study results in improved performance. I use what I learned playing basketball and volleyball competitively in every situation in life, both business and personal.

    Sports media: The ability to break down a single play into a thousand pieces and explain it.

    College sports: The passion that stays with fans throughout their lives.

    What I Would Like To …

    Change in my sport: Less one-on-one basketball and more running of plays, pick and rolls, give and gos.

    See: More playgrounds, green space, and children outside running and playing.

    See more of in sports business: More women getting into the business.

    See less of in sports: Performance-enhancing drugs.

    See different: How people treat children. We need to nurture hearts and minds and provide guidance.

    Reintroduce: The use of the turn signal when driving.

    Eliminate: Racism and bigotry.

    What I Don’t Like …

    Pet peeve: Misspelled words in documents where spell check is readily available.

    In business: A work force that is unwilling to work hard and appreciate that raises and promotions should be earned.

    In media: Big media can be too commercial. It’s more about audience demographics and less about news critical for us to know.

    In technology: How quickly the latest gadgets are replaced by the next version.

    In Sports venues: Expensive, bad food.


    What I like …

    People: Funny people who can laugh at themselves.

    That would surprise those who know me: I have been a fan of “All My Children” since its first show in 1970.

    Heroes: My father.

    Players: Tiger Woods, Chris Paul, Larry Doby, Roger Federer, Hank Aaron, the Williams sisters, John Havlicek, Bob McAdoo, Pete Maravich, Oscar Robertson.

    Teams: Seattle Mariners, Buffalo Bills, North Carolina Tar Heels.

    City: Seattle.

    Possession: Rocks from my daughter.

    Time of year: Summer. There is nothing better than shorts, flip flops and dinner on the back deck.

    Books: “Bonfire of the Vanities,” “A Prayer for Owen Meany,” “Native Son,” “The Stand,” “Rabbit, Run,” “Where the Wild Things Are,” “Catcher in the Rye.”

    Gadgets: The rabbit corkscrew, multi-use remotes.

    Hobbies: Reading, exercising, playing piano.

    Movies: “Shawshank Redemption,” “West Side Story,” “Crash,” “The Birdcage,” “Remember the Titans,” “Glory,” “The Color Purple.”

    TV: “Grey’s Anatomy,” “West Wing,” “Backyardigans,” “Brothers & Sisters.”

    Artist: Monet.

    Dessert: Dark chocolate layer cake with chocolate chip ice cream.

    Drink: Cabernet.

    Scent: Homemade bread, sautéed garlic, freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, fresh brewed coffee.

    Vacation spots: Paris, Seattle, the Caribbean.

    Cars: Mercedes convertibles.

     Singer: Chaka Khan.

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