After over four and a half illustrious decades working in the NBA, Hall of Famer and Warriors president and chief operating officer Rick Welts will finally call it quits at the end of the season, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Thursday.
Welts’ 11 seasons in the Warriors front office would be impressive enough, the team winning three NBA championships during his tenure, but his work for the NBA in the years preceding made him major figure in the history of the league.
After getting his start as a ball boy for the Seattle Supersonics in 1969, Welts worked his way up to become the team’s public relations director when it won a championship in 1979. Welts later worked at the NBA’s league offices from 1982 to 1999, where he developed the idea for an NBA All-Star Weekend in 1984 and also promoted “The Dream Team” which helped grow the NBA into a global brand.
It addition to his achievements, Welts became the most prominent sports executive to acknowledge that he is gay, when he publicly came out in 2011.