SBJ/Feb. 10-16, 2014/Champions

What Others Are Saying …

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“Wayne was a trailblazer. Over the past 40 years, he very much wanted the players to improve themselves and appreciate the game. He was very collaborative but wasn’t afraid to express strong views on both talent and character.”
— David Stern, recently retired NBA commissioner

“His strength of character has been an inspiration for all of us. Wayne understands both the game and how important the community is. For us, it has been an honor having him be part of our organization. Aside from being a role model, there is his tremendous history. He really teaches our players the values they learn in competing on the floor and makes them have a positive impact on society.”
— Larry Tanenbaum, chairman, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment,
which owns the Toronto Raptors

“Wayne was always checking and rechecking character. He is a very character-oriented person. He always was very concerned about the character makeup of the team. It was something that I really respected. That is who he is.”
— Gordon Gund, former owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers


“Wayne is a unique individual. He has done a lot and I admire him. I’m sure that a lot of people would take that adversity and put it to the forefront, but he has never done that. He is just good to be around. I can tell that when he’s talking to people, he has thought a lot about what he says and how he says it, which is a great quality.”
— Oscar Robertson, NBA great and former teammate of Embry’s
on the Cincinnati Royals and Milwaukee Bucks


“Wayne has so much wisdom, but you can also confide in him. His message is so rich. He has such great explanations that come not just with his experience but also from his demeanor. His advice on all aspects, not just basketball but on other things in life, is just remarkable.”
— Masai Ujiri, general manager, Toronto Raptors


“Wayne is very well-liked and very humble. He was the first black general manager in sports. He is in the Basketball Hall of Fame. He was on the Miami University Board of Trustees for 14 years. He never lets on that he has done it all. He is the same guy now as he was then.”
— Darrell Hedric, former Miami University athletic director and
former scout for the Cleveland Cavaliers


“Wayne has a great influence in the league and basketball. He is a basketball man through and through. Whenever we had an issue in the league office, I’d call and get his feedback and perspective. He can give perspective on behalf of teams and players, and I always knew that with Wayne, he would give a thoughtful response with an objective that was for the good of the league.”
— Russ Granik, former NBA deputy commissioner


“People within the business and the game know what his contributions have been. He was a real pioneer in many ways, but what really makes him special is with all the success he’s had as a player, an executive and a contributor to the game, he has given so much back to the game. With all of that, the best thing about him is that he is a great person.”
— Jerry Colangelo, chairman of USA Basketball and former owner of the Phoenix Suns


“Wayne has a wonderful perspective of the NBA and every facet of basketball because he has been there as a player and as an executive. He is not a boisterous, flamboyant guy. He is rock solid and is not going to pop off just to stir things up or hear his own voice. He is always prepared before he takes action, and he has served as a mentor to young executives both white and black.”
— Pat Williams, senior vice president, Orlando Magic


“Wayne has had a big influence on my life, and he was always a very supportive guy. He also believed in trying to get players with character and he felt that would carry him a long way. He always preached that.”
— Brian Winters, former Milwaukee Bucks player and former assistant coach
for the Cleveland Cavaliers


— Compiled by John Lombardo


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