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Warriors hire former Suns executive Rick Welts
Welts left a position as president and chief executive of the Phoenix Suns earlier this month for personal reasons, four months after he became the first senior sports executive to openly acknowledge he was gay.
Welts said at the time he would relocate to Northern California to be with his partner.
“It’s an opportunity probably for the first time for me to align my personal and professional lives,” he said.
The 58-year-old former NBA front office executive _ he was third in command when he left in 1999 _ said he hoped to return to work for a professional sports franchise in the Bay Area. He didn’t have to wait long for that opportunity.
“His track record in all facets of the business _ sponsorship, marketing, public relations, event management, team services, merchandising _ and his ability to be strategically creative and cutting-edge make him the ideal candidate to lead our organization,” Lacob said. “Quite honestly, I’m convinced that we could not have found a better candidate for the job.”
He said his life since then has been “fascinating” and that he intended to do more work to promote the cause of “treating everyone equally.”
Welts has 36 years of NBA experience.
“It’s hard to express how excited I am to embrace this opportunity and be part of a collective group in building the Warriors into a championship caliber organization,” Welts said. “I’ve been most impressed with Joe Lacob and Peter Guber’s vision and desire to do something great. Not good, but great. Many of the ingredients are here _ the Warriors‘ rich history, the team’s amazing fan support, and the strength of the Bay Area as a sports market.
“We have a lot of work to do and I can’t wait to get started.”
There have made major changes in a matter of months.
By Bob Dole
The industrious island has proved itself worthy of U.S. inclusion
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