Seattle SuperSonics Rumors
A nervous Rick Welts knocked on Bill Russell’s door in Seattle 10 years ago to ask a huge favor. The longtime NBA executive wanted the Hall of Fame center to do a rare interview on his behalf regarding the news that he was coming out as gay. While Russell is known for disliking media interviews, the 11-time NBA champion said without hesitation that he would help his old friend.
Welts, who became the first prominent executive in American sports to be openly gay, took another weight off of himself on Thursday with his announcement to retire as president and chief operating officer of the Golden State Warriors at the end of this NBA season. A Basketball Hall of Famer, Welts is one of the NBA’s most respected executives having worked for the Seattle SuperSonics, Phoenix Suns and Warriors over the course of nearly 50 years. Welts worked with the Sonics when they won a championship in 1979 and with the Warriors when they won three titles last decade. He also oversaw the building of the state-of-the-art Chase Center in San Francisco.
Marc Stein: Warriors president and COO Rick Welts says he will step down at season’s end after nearly 50 years in the NBA. Inducted into the @hoophall in 2018, Welts broke in as a Seattle ballboy in 1969 and held key roles with the Sonics, Suns and Warriors as well as the league office.
@vera: Who’s the best trash-talkers you ever faced? Gary Payton: Basically Larry Bird was really marvelous. Reggie Miller could do it a lot, Michael would do a lot of things too but you really had to get him going. But the greatest one is me. Rasheed Wallace was good but he was doing it at the refs.
The founder of Girls Talk Sports TV, Khristina Williams, asked Allen’s interest in owning a Seattle Sonics stake. “So, I tell people when you believe in something or when you have a goal or idea. You write it down, and then you tell your friend or tell somebody you don’t know. The reason why you do that because you can’t run away from it. Cause a lot of times, and people don’t share their goals because they are afraid if they don’t accomplish them, they are a failure,” said Allen. “Even when you don’t accomplish them, you learned something. You have information, and then you go back to the drawing board. So, we have to give our desires and our dreams to the world to help us inspire. So, the signs tell us everything, and I have put stuff like that into the universe, like one day, I want to run a marathon, run a triathlon, I want to own an NBA team. There are small little things that push you into a direction or away from it.”
“I would love for Seattle to have a team, and I would love to be part of the ownership. When I left Seattle in 07, so many were disenchanted with the ownership, and the one thing that I told them was, this is something people all over the world in any city with a sports team. People were upset with the then owners, and I told them, listen, I wear Seattle on my chest, but I only wear it for a brief time. When I leave, this is your city. You always have to fight for your city, for your team, and the pride of what it is. You cannot lose a sports team in your city because it is a community resource. As an adult you have your frustrations and things that piss you off the dynamics, the politics, but we do things for the kids.
Last week, as a guest on One37 FM, Dallas Mavericks Chairman Mark Cuban was asked what is the NBA missing by not being in Seattle. “A lot of corporate sponsorship and a lot of great fans,” said Cuban. “A lot of people that miss the NBA, so we are missing a lot by not being there. Oklahoma City has been a great market I can’t take anything from them. And I am not saying anything that I have not already said before, but I think there is a future where Seattle has a team. I just don’t know when.”