HoopsHype Rick Welts rumors

November 13, 2011 Updates

They found an assistant general manager in Bob Myers, a former sports agent with no sports executive experience, and hired first-time coach Mark Jackson. They talked Rick Welts into becoming the team's president about two weeks after he appeared to have retired from the league, and coaxed Jerry West into joining the executive board. "The hiring of Jerry West might be the single most important thing," Lacob said. "Not only is it what he's going to contribute, but also it was a statement of how serious we are about this. We want to go through every aspect of this organization and improve it." San Francisco Chronicle

October 24, 2011 Updates

Your job is not to instill in the Golden State Warriors an ethic of tolerance, but do you hope to have an impact -- do you feel obliged to have an impact -- on, say, Dorell Wright, Steph Curry, Monta Ellis and Mark Jackson, who is an observant evangelical Christian? Is "making a contribution," as you say, a hands-on experience whereby you speak to the team for 15 minutes one afternoon after practice and tell your story? Rick Welts: The answer is, "I don't know." I had a great conversation with Mark on the phone. Everyone in the organization has been incredible. I'll tell you one of the most gratifying experiences I've had since May -- and you'll understand this -- is the interview I had with the Warriors. I was with Peter Guber and Joe Lacob for six hours. I realized I didn't have to guess what they knew or might have known or how they'd feel about it, whether they'd have a problem with that, because I was out. ESPN.com

Welts: And it wasn't until about four hours into the meeting when one of them goes, "So how did the announcement go over with the ownership in Phoenix?" I said, "It went over great," and then we went back to the Warriors. For me, as someone who spent his whole business career worrying about how that would affect my ability to be successful in the occupation I'd chosen, that was a pretty amazing experience. ESPN.com

October 17, 2011 Updates

As part of National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, Shaquille O’Neal is teaming up with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) to launch its “Amplify Your Voice!” campaign, and Warriors President Rick Welts will be honored Oct. 21 by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) during their seventh annual Respect Awards gala in Los Angeles. The Warriors named Welts president and chief operating officer in September to oversee business-related operations and report directly to owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber. He had a nine-year stint with the Phoenix Suns as president and was chief executive officer the past two seasons. San Francisco Chronicle

October 16, 2011 Updates

Suns managing general partner Robert Sarver understood Welts’s reasons for relocation and placed calls to the Maloof brothers, owners of the Sacramento Kings, as well as Lacob and Guber. Lacob returned the call shortly after the team parted ways with president Robert Rowell. “I’m still shaking my head, to tell you the truth,’’ Welts said. “I had expected to take some time off and it didn’t quite work out that way. “It was really a fortuitous opportunity, and for me it was the perfect intersection of what I was hoping to do. I was hoping to be back in the NBA or at least in sports. It was a very lucky chain of events for me.’’ Boston Globe

While Welts made headlines with his announcement, the attention has died down considerably. Perhaps that is a testament to the times, but the lack of focus on his personal life is welcomed. His life since the revelation, he said, “hasn’t changed as dramatically as people like to assume. “My family has always been amazingly supportive, and really it was only in my work life that the fact that I was gay was not in my day-to-day life. That wasn’t a tremendous burden. “There’s been an unbelievable outpouring of support. I truly have not received one negative correspondence, either letter or e-mail, or telephone call out of thousands of interactions since this has happened. Boston Globe

October 10, 2011 Updates

The Phoenix Suns are turning to former Henkel Consumer Goods CEO Brad Casper to run its business operations. Suns owner Robert Sarver will hire Casper as the team’s new team president, according to the Sports Business Daily and Sports Business Journal. Casper replaces Rick Welts, who resigned from the Suns in early September and recently was hired as Golden State Warriors President & COO. Business News

October 3, 2011 Updates

Today, though, partly out of respect for Stern, Welts would rather not go there. But as the highest ranking executive in team sports that has publicly disclosed that he is gay, the 58-year-old Welts knows he has to answer questions that no other executive has ever had to answer. And he knows that in moving to the Bay Area, with its large and proud gay population, he will be an even bigger role model and local celebrity than he ever has been before. "I knew when I decided to go about this the way I did that this was what I was signing up for," Welts said. "There's a platform and an opportunity that I actually feel a sense of responsibility to do. From this point on there's going to be a part of my life that's going to be devoted to having an intelligent discussion about sexual orientation ... it sounds so Pollyanish, but literally, I've gotten hundreds of letters, thousands of e-mails, and I haven't received a single negative comment. I was really expecting to hear from some people. Maybe they don't have my e-mail address." NBA.com

September 27, 2011 Updates

The Warriors named Rick Welts president and chief operating officer, the team announced late Monday. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Welts, 58, will oversee business-related operations and will report directly to owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber. He had a nine-year stint with the Phoenix Suns as president and was chief executive officer the past two seasons. San Francisco Chronicle

"Rick is simply one of the most highly regarded executives in the NBA, and his accomplishments at both the team and league levels are extremely impressive," Lacob said. "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. Quite honestly, I'm convinced that we could not have found a better candidate for the job." San Francisco Chronicle

Eleven days after his nine-year stint of running the Suns' business ended, Rick Welts accepted a job to run the Warriors' business operations. The hire came a week after his first conversation with new Golden State owner Joe Lacob. "He (Sarver) really was the one who initiated the conversation on my behalf," Welts said after the hiring was announced Monday night. "I had been looking forward to doing different things but the opportunity with this team and this market worked so well for me geographically. I was not able to pass that up and I couldn't be more ecstatic." Arizona Republic

September 18, 2011 Updates

To the technologically unhip, here are the consequences: Nash seems to be championing the criticism of his boss. That can't help their working relationship, and you wonder if this is Nash's way of asking out, of joining the long procession of employees who've left the organization in recent years. "I would absolutely confirm on a scale of 1-10, he's not an easy guy every day to work for," outgoing Suns President and CEO Rick Welts said. "But I'll tell you, the guy I worked for before him, David Stern, is off the charts when it comes to being hard to work for. Robert is a piece of cake. He's got a wonderful heart. He's got this thing about wanting to win that every fan should appreciate." Arizona Republic

Contrary to public perception, Welts predicts a bright future for the Suns. He says he strongly believes in the current management team. He says investments in basketball operations will pay off handsomely. And in the next few years, Welts believes the team "will be right in the thick of things, competing for a championship again." "If the Suns were a stock, I'd buy," he said. Arizona Republic

September 10, 2011 Updates

Suns President and Chief Executive Officer Rick Welts came to work Friday to tell team employees, many of whom he has worked alongside for nine years, that he is leaving them. Already mired in a league lockout, Suns employees did not need this news about their beloved boss but they helped to ease Welts' anxiousness about the move. As Welts revealed plans to leave by Sept. 15, he was joined in Managing Partner Robert Sarver's office by Sarver, Vice Chairman Sam Garvin, President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby - and good cheer. Arizona Republic

He wanted to shoot down any notion that he was being pushed out the door by the Suns, praising the support he has received from team owner Robert Sarver. "I think amicable is probably an understatement," Welts said of his leaving the franchise. He said both he and Sarver were concerned that some might have a misperception that, because of the timing, the Suns wanted him to leave. "Nothing could be further from the truth," Welts said. "From the time I made my announcement in May, the Suns, and Robert in particular, have been unbelievably supportive." He said that he and Sarver had just spoke again by telephone to thank each other. ESPN.com

Sarver said in a news release that the business side of the organization will report to general counsel Jason Rowley as the team searches for a new president. Sarver thanked Welts for "his tireless work on behalf of the Suns." Lon Babby remains the Suns' president of basketball operations. ESPN.com

The Suns are promoting General Counsel Jason Rowley to executive vice president to assume Welts' duties on an interim basis. A national search of candidates, including Rowley, will be conducted to fill the spot. Rowley joined the Suns in 2008 and represented Sarver's purchase of the Suns in 2004. "He's got a breadth of knowledge of business," Babby said of Rowley. "He's a problem solver and that's a big asset for someone in that position." Arizona Republic

Any rumor missing? E-mail us at   hoopshype@hoopshype.com.