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I want to work in the NBA

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by lemmywinks, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. lemmywinks

    lemmywinks Senior member

    Dec 9, 2008
    I'm entering college this fall and everyone tells me that I should pursue a career in something that I enjoy... blah blah blah.

    So I thought about what I wanted to do and in a really really perfect world, I would want to be an NBA star. That is pretty much out of the question. The next option would be an NBA Owner but that's something that happens for people with a lot of money.

    But for now, my dream (but not nearly as out of reach) job is to be the President of Basketball Operations/General Manager for an NBA team... And I would be really happy with a lot other basketball operations related jobs below my ultimate goal.

    So where do I start? I know a lot of guys holding these NBA jobs are former NBA/College basketball players who already have a connection, but there are guys like Daryl Morey and Rich Cho who had zero basketball background before getting into the NBA.
  2. HRoi

    HRoi Senior member

    Dec 28, 2008
    funny, i was chatting with this guy last month. he worked for the Nets and Heat, i believe in some kind of stadium management capacity and now he's in sales and marketing.

    his path was a BS in Sports Science at a Big East school, and while at college he was one of the team managers. leveraged whatever connections he made there to interviews and ultimately a series of NBA jobs.

    that's one path FWIW.

    if you want to be a GM, though, your biggest skill requirement afaik would be to be an excellent scout, a great strategic mind, and the ability to beat the utter shit out of agents (which is kinda funny because agents are very good legal minds who know their way around a contract and their job is to negotiate. whereas the team GM's are represented by the likes of...Chris Wallace.) you probably need to start on the scouting side and be a genius at evaluating talent (or create some kind of moneyball formula like Morey did)
  3. kxk

    kxk Well-Known Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    If through an academic path, major in math/applied math/economics and try to get internships with teams that employ a lot of quantitative analysis. I've known a couple MIT kids who've worked for major sports teams.

    You can also do marketing and things like that, work for the business operation side, and try to transfer over.

    Another way would be to go to a top law school and work for firms that do a lot of work with sports leagues and sports teams (Proskauer Rose and Williams & Connolly come to mind), and hop on over (David Stern was a lawyer for Proskauer, iirc). Probably happens more often than the first two, but that's two giant hoops (three, if you include ensuring that you get staffed in the sports practice group) to jump through before you're even anywhere close to the game.

    Of course, as HRoi points out, to work in the front office, it goes without saying that knowledge and understanding of the game is essential.

    Also, if you look at the teams' media guides, some provide pretty helpful details of the employees' backgrounds, at least for the more important ones.
  4. Joffrey

    Joffrey Senior member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Pennsylvania Ave/Connecticut Ave
    For sure try to get an internship with one of the teams.
  5. mmhollis

    mmhollis Senior member

    Feb 27, 2008
    New York
    I'd agree with the advice given by an earlier responder. You should definitely try to be a team manager for your University or video coordinator. Build connections with players, though they may treat you like shit until you're a junior. Also do internships in the summer with NBA teams.
  6. jsqfunk

    jsqfunk Senior member

    Jul 1, 2007
    As with a lot of "glamorous" jobs there is a lot of competition for a relatively few number of positions
    This means:
    1. Connections are supper important
    2. Expect competition from ivy league types
    3. Near poverty wages for your first few jobs
    The good news is that these kind of jobs attract a lot of flakes (including some of the ivy types), so if you show up, on time, with a good attitude you can stand out from the crowd.
    p.s. work for free to get your foot in the door
  7. ter1413

    ter1413 Senior member

    Dec 3, 2009
    Central Booking
    For sure try to get an internship with one of the teams.

    start there^^^
  8. dragon8

    dragon8 Senior member

    Feb 19, 2007
    San Francisco
    For sure try to get an internship with one of the teams.

    Go this route.
  9. rexthedestroyer

    rexthedestroyer Senior member

    Aug 17, 2008
    What college are you going to? Try to atleast get in to a division 1A school. From there, get a gig with the basketball (and football) team in any capacity you can. Shoot, become an equipment manager your first year and get to know all the coaches and top players. From there, learn the fundamentals of the game as much as possible by just watching how the team practices. A degree in sports management or business coupled with internships with sports teams will probably be your best bet.

    My buddies girlfriend works for the NFL in their international marketing department. I don't think she makes all that much money, but her perks are awesome. She has gotten her boyfriends (and me once) to the last 4 Super Bowls.
  10. austinite

    austinite Well-Known Member

    Oct 22, 2010
    Not very good timing for this plan.
    1 person likes this.

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