Of course, my ultimate dream job is to be a professional basketball player in the NBA. However, if that doesn’t happen, the next best thing would be to work for the NBA. Imagine going to a job every day to support the game you love so much? It’s the type of job you would look forward to going to every single day!
I wanted to find out more about life in the NBA beyond the court and was lucky enough to interview a NBA executive at their NYC offices. When I was there, it was very exciting to imagine who possibly walked in those very same halls. When you walk out of the elevator, basketball is larger than life and literally wall-to-wall. Step behind the doors and there are basketball photos and cool stuff everywhere. It’s an amazing place.
During my visit, I asked our NBA source about what it’s like to work in the NBA and other topics including LeBron’s move, who will take rookie of the year, and what fans can expect during the upcoming NBA season:
Q: What is the best thing about working for the NBA?
A: Going to the games is a fun perk but from a work standpoint, it’s the ability to work with some great people. The last commissioner David Stern was one of the smartest men I’ve ever worked with and I was fortunate to work closely with him. The current commissioner Adam Silver and Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum, are not only two of the nicest people but also two of the smartest people. Basically, it’s fun to work in sports. I’ve always been a big sports fan and coming to work and having fun every day is probably the best part.
Q: Do you have some favorite career highlights?
A: A few moments that stand out for me include being in the arena during Vince Carter slam dunk contest, meeting Michael Jordan, and being in the Celtics arena when they won championship with Garnett and Pierce. I think the biggest highlight has been the chance to meet a lot of great players along the way, who are very good guys and really care about the fans and care about their families. Chris Paul and Kevin Durant are good examples for both what they do on and off the court.
Q: What do you think of LeBron’s move to Cleveland?
A: Well, he really has the right to do whatever he wants. I think it’s exciting that he’s going back to Cleveland for the reasons that he’s doing it. Obviously, he’s had a great run in Miami--going to four finals and winning two championships is unbelievable. I think a lot of people, except for maybe the fans in Miami, are pretty excited about it and pretty happy with it and I think it’s going to be interesting to see what he does in Cleveland.
Q: Do you think the Knicks will make the playoffs this year?
A: That’s a tough one. In the East, there are clearly a few teams that should be pretty strong. I don’t think the Knicks will be a contender. Can they make the playoffs? I think there is a decent chance they may make the playoffs so I think you have some hope…some of the moves they made in the off season should certainly help them out this year.
Q: Who’s your pick for rookie of the year?
A: Another tough question. Wiggins is probably the favorite at this point but this is a strong draft class--one of the strongest we’ve had in long time. There’s a lot of players that could easily be rookie of the year and a lot of it depends on the situations they are in and how much time they play. I think there are a lot of players with a bright future ahead. It’s a tough call but I guess you have to go with number one pick until proven otherwise. So, I guess I would pick Wiggins.
Q: What plans do you have for this upcoming season to bring more fan interest to the NBA?
A: We are always trying to improve the fan experience. So whether it is through technology and new ways to get fans to interact or finding ways to get kids to play basketball and stay fit, we always have the fans in mind. I think there are a lot of fun storylines this year. There’s been a lot of movement in the offseason and some of the rivalries that built over the last few years will be a focus. Can LeBron and the Cavs make it back to the finals? Can they beat the Spurs in the finals if they match up again? Can Oklahoma City finally get over the hump? Can teams like Washington, Atlanta, and Golden State, which have taken steps forward over recent years, take the next step and become real contenders this year? I think a lot of those story lines will take care of themselves and we will try to just deliver the fans what they want the best we can.
Q: What advice do you have kids that want to have a job like you?
A: Study hard, most importantly. Also, have fun and play basketball and play sports. Also, listen to your parents. I think if you study hard and remember to be nice to people in whatever you do, you will be happy. It’s all about the way you deal with people. You can be smartest person in the world but if you can’t be nice to people or you don’t work well with others, you won’t enjoy the job you do.
As always, thanks for reading my blog. I hope you enjoyed reading this interview as much as I did when I was at the NBA offices. Let me know if you have any future questions that you would like me to ask. Once again, thanks for reading and please comment!
My name is Mike V. I am an enormous basketball fan. I also am a die-hard Knicks fan. After graduating 5th grade, I started writing this blog at the age of 10 in the summer of 2012.