Golden State Warriors president and chief working officer Rick Welts, a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Corridor of Fame, will retire after the 2020-21 NBA season, it was introduced Thursday.
Welts, 68, has spent 46 years working within the NBA, and in 2011, he grew to become probably the most distinguished sports activities govt to acknowledge that he’s homosexual. He’ll stay with the Warriors as an advisor, and the workforce mentioned it will doubtless identify a brand new president inside per week.
“One of many issues I’ve all the time been good at, is understanding the best time to depart a place I have been in,” Welts, 68, informed Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. “For me, the time is ideal. After we had been having the [retirement] dialogue, no one noticed a pandemic. If it will have been a yr in the past, I feel I might have struggled with that simply because we had been a complete mess. We’d do not know how you can discover our manner out of this. That will haven’t been search for me and the group.
“Now, simply this week, we’ve got state steering to possibly have followers within the stands hopefully earlier than April is over and a path, hopefully, in direction of normalcy subsequent yr. I am prepared. The group is prepared. We’re not going to overlook a beat. … I’ve performed the large issues that I can do. It is time to cross that on to any individual else.”
Welts started his NBA profession as a ball boy with the Seattle SuperSonics in 1969, finally working his manner as much as turning into the workforce’s public relations director when it gained a championship in 1979.
He additionally labored with the Phoenix Suns from 2002 to ’11, holding roles as president and CEO. The Seattle native has seen the Warriors win three NBA titles throughout his 11 years with the franchise and in addition oversaw the constructing of their state-of-the-art Chase Middle in San Francisco.
“His instinct proved to be spot-on as his management, imaginative and prescient, creativity and relationship-building enabled us to achieve heights by no means seen earlier than within the NBA on the enterprise facet,” Warriors co-executive chairman and CEO Joe Lacob mentioned in a press release. “We thank him for his unimaginable contributions to our franchise and, extra importantly, the category and character with which he represented our group every day.”
Welts additionally performed a significant position in advertising the NBA throughout his 17 years as an govt with the league. Along with creating the thought for an NBA All-Star Weekend in 1984, he additionally promoted the Dream Staff and the WNBA.
“Merely put, Rick Welts performed a transformational position in creating the trendy NBA throughout his greater than 40 years as a pioneering league and workforce govt,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver mentioned. “His extraordinary imaginative and prescient, management and humanity have outlined his Corridor of Fame profession, which has set the usual of excellence within the sports activities trade.
“I had the large success to study in regards to the enterprise of the NBA and its groups instantly from Rick in my early years on the league workplace and have all the time appreciated his friendship and generosity. As he transitions into his subsequent endeavor, I’ve little question that Rick will proceed to depart his mark on the sport and the higher sports activities enterprise.”
Welts informed The Undefeated that he expects to stay along with his husband, Todd Gage, in Sacramento and San Francisco throughout retirement and plans to journey to Europe as soon as the pandemic ends. He additionally nonetheless plans to attend and watch plenty of NBA video games.