What is your educational background and experience?
“I’m a UCLA graduate. I got my bachelors degree in business economics. Then I went to Law School at Loyola Law School in downtown Los Angeles. I passed the bar in 2003. I’m licensed to practice as an attorney in California. That’s where the education stopped for me.”
What is the average day like for you as a general manager?
“There is no average day. It changes daily. It’s volatile. It completely depends on what time of the season it is. I could be dealing with free agency, the draft, trade deadline, or just managing day-to-day issues that come up. That could mean talking to trainers, doctors, coaches, or agents. I think the title of ‘general manager’ is indicative of the job. It sounds somewhat mundane, but you’re managing situations and you’re managing people. What is important is managing people and situations to make the best decisions for the franchise.”
What are the best and worst parts of your position?
“I think the best part is working and living in a competitive environment where the goal is to win a championship. It’s a goal that everyone can unite around and work toward. It’s exciting to be a part of a team environment. There is some tangible at the end of the road that we all seek to obtain. The most difficult part is the work/life balance. It’s a job that can really take up every day and every hour of the day. It can completely consume you. So it’s hard to find a way to balance family and kids and marriage amongst the rigors of the job. The job never really has boundaries and it never stops.”
How much basketball knowledge do you need to succeed at this job? Do you need to have the experience of playing the sport?
“I think there is a lot of ways to approach building a team. I think if a general manager in any sport has played, it has some relevancy and advantages. I feel that way for myself. It helps me identify the characteristics that make up a winning team. But I think in regards to the analytics, that’s another piece of the pie that you use to evaluate players whether you’re signing them, trading them or drafting them, that’s different. It’s important that we have people on our staff and in our basketball department that have experience. We have a consultant in Jerry West who played for a long time and was a coach as well as a general manager. We use all of the assets within our organization to make decisions, and everyone has a unique skillset that they bring to the table. Their experiences vary in strategic ways. The hard part is bringing them all together to make the best decision.”
How else does your playing career help you in this position?
“I think it helps in the ability to relate to somebody and have common experiences. It helps with common relationships and backgrounds with coaches and players that I might have played with or against. It helps ease dialogue and create a network. It’s a positive thing.”
What is the best advice you have been given since getting the job at Golden State?
“I think the best advice I’ve ever been given is just to work hard. When you continue to work hard, you might not see the results right away and they may not come as soon as you would like, but eventually they will come. As far as since I took the job, patience is the best advice I’ve received. It’s a long road, it takes a lot of turns, and you just have to hang on and not get to caught up in the volatility of the job. You have to treat everyone equally and with respect, because things can turn on a dime in this business. They can turn in either a positive or a negative way. You have to try to keep your equilibrium as best as you can. It’s a long road, and with patience, you will figure out where you want to go.”