Warriors’ Rick Welts Adds Hall of Famer to His Title
Rick Welts hasn’t scored a single point, made a single steal or grabbed even one rebound since he began an almost 50-year career in the NBA in 1969 working as a ball boy for the Seattle Supersonics. While his on-court achievements may not rise to the level of a Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant, the Golden State Warriors President and Chief Operating Officer has amassed an incredible and historic record of achievement off the court that earned him induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Sept. 7. The Bay Area Council Executive Committee member has been an innovator and pioneer in various leadership roles in the NBA, including as a top executive with the Sonics, the Phoenix Suns, the NBA front office and for the past seven years with the Warriors.
Long before he became the first prominent male figure in professional sports to publicly announce in 2011 that he was gay, Welts worked to make the NBA a leading advocate for AIDs awareness. His marketing and business prowess and creativity helped guide the NBA in the modern era. Welts created the NBA All-Star Weekend, was the driving force behind the marketing of the USA Olympic Dream Team and played a key role in launching the WNBA. His career with the Warriors has been equally spectacular, helping build a team that has won three NBA Championships and assembled one of the greatest player lineups in league history. Welts also has been the driving force behind the construction of the Warriors’ new Chase Center in San Francisco, which he has called one of his greatest challenges and will no doubt become another great achievement in a continuing career of excellence and leadership. Congratulations, Rick Welts!
“No one is more deserving of this Hall of Fame recognition than Rick Welts,” said Warriors Owner & CEO Joe Lacob. “Rick provided our business operation with instant credibility upon his arrival in 2011 and set the tone for the new direction of the organization. He has left an immeasurable mark on the franchise. His presence has helped boost our organization to new heights, just as it has at every stop throughout his decorated NBA career.”
“Rick’s tenure with the Warriors and the NBA has been defined by innovation and inclusivity,” said Warriors Owner Peter Guber. “From All-Star Weekend to the ‘Dream Team’ to the WNBA, his impressive résumé rivals that of any executive ever to work in the industry. He continues to add to it as the team prepares to open a world-class sports and entertainment venue, Chase Center, in 2019. He’s a Hall of Famer not only by virtue of his successes but also in the way that he leads and inspires people to achieve their own successes.”
“The Bay Area Council couldn’t be prouder of having the incredible Rick Welts as a member of our Executive Committee,” said Council CEO Jim Wunderman. “Rick has consistently shown amazing commitment to our organization and the region. Rick is a hall of famer in every sense of the expression.”