Rick Welts will step down as president and chief operating officer of the Golden State Warriors when the 20-21 season ends. This was announced by himself on Thursday, while the franchise has announced that it will remain linked to it as an advisor and that a new president will be appointed in a period of about a week.
“One thing I’ve always been good at is seeing when it’s time to quit,” Welts said. “And for me, this is the perfect moment. A year ago, for example, I think I would have had problems like that because we were a total disaster, and it would not have been good for me or the franchise. Now, we have received state guidance to try to get an audience in the stands before the end of April, and hopefully we will return to normal next season. I am ready and the franchise is ready. I have already done all the great things that I could do and now it is my turn to hand over the baton to someone else ”.
A life in basketball
Welts has spent 46 years working in the NBA, ranging from ball boy for the Seattle SupperSonics or director of public relations for the franchise to the presidency of the Phoenix Suns, a position he held between 2002 and 2011. His arrival with the Warriors was produced that same year, and since then the team has lived its best years and has managed to become NBA history. All this successful career made the league recognize him by including him in the Hall of Fame in 2020.
“He has been instrumental in many of the good things that have happened to this franchise,” said Steve Kerr, who previously worked with him on the Suns as general manager. “The titles, the new flag … The Warriors name doesn’t carry the same weight as it did 10 years ago, and I want to thank Rick for his work and for his incredible career.”
Apart from his role in different franchises, Welts was an NBA executive, and had a very important role in the development of the current concept of the All-Star Weekend, as well as promoting the creation of the Dream Team and the WNBA. “He has had a transformative role in the creation of the modern NBA in its 40-plus years,” said Adam Silver.
In addition, in 2015 Rick became the first great American sports executive to go public with his homosexuality. In this way, it also helped to give visibility to one of the groups that has the most problems to gain a foothold in the world of professional sports.
(Cover photo: Ezra Shaw / Getty Images)