SBJ/20090817/What I Like

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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