Nepotism in the NBA

Moderators: zimpy27, KingDavid, jamaalstar21, infinite11285, BombsquadSammy, ken6199, Domejandro, bwgood77, Dirk

User avatar
Kevin Johnson
Analyst
Posts: 3,096
And1: 7,833
Joined: Jan 01, 2014

Nepotism in the NBA 

Post#1 » by Kevin Johnson » Sun Dec 27, 2015 11:51 pm

How bad is nepotism in the NBA?

We complain a lot about nepotism playing a role in Doc Rivers trading picks for his son whose NBA career looked like was coming to an end because he is a point guard who couldn't run the offense, shoot or finish.

But there are lots of cases in the NBA where people are only getting an opportunity because of their parents and their connections. Millions of us want a job in pro sports and it's very difficult to virtually impossible to get your foot in the door unless you're very gifted AND lucky. But you have Brian Colangelo, Donnie Nelson, JB Bickerstaff, Ryan West, etc. Obviously, someone like Nelson is pretty respected but would he ever even have the opportunity if he wasn't Nellie's son? Was he the most qualified candidate to be an assistant coach of the Mavericks when his dad was the head coach?
jbeachboy
Assistant Coach
Posts: 4,337
And1: 359
Joined: Jul 01, 2014
 

Re: Nepotism in the NBA 

Post#2 » by jbeachboy » Mon Dec 28, 2015 12:03 am

it definitely gives you the opportunity but brian colangelo finally got fired after failing, donnie nelson did great job with mavericks, bickerstaff is new, ryan west i dont know enough about.
Arp590
Assistant Coach
Posts: 4,317
And1: 2,982
Joined: Jul 02, 2009
 

Re: Nepotism in the NBA 

Post#3 » by Arp590 » Mon Dec 28, 2015 12:07 am

Steph Curry
lakerhater
General Manager
Posts: 9,481
And1: 1,887
Joined: Jul 04, 2002
 

Re: Nepotism in the NBA 

Post#4 » by lakerhater » Mon Dec 28, 2015 12:09 am

I always thought one of the main reasons Mike Dunleavy Jr was drafted 3rd by GSW was done as somewhat of a favor by Garry St Jean on behalf of his buddy Dunleavy Sr.
User avatar
Jakay
Retired Mod
Retired Mod
Posts: 28,716
And1: 4,911
Joined: Jan 27, 2003
Location: Half out of my mind
Contact:

Re: Nepotism in the NBA 

Post#5 » by Jakay » Mon Dec 28, 2015 12:19 am

Austin Rivers seems to be the worst example of it. Most of the rest, well, seem to deserve their spots. I mean, these are the kids of some of the most athletic people on the planet, most of whom have been playing their entire lives, so it stands to reason a disproportionate number of them would rise through the ranks.
User avatar
deanwoof
Assistant Coach
Posts: 4,095
And1: 808
Joined: Nov 26, 2008
Location: Portland

Re: Nepotism in the NBA 

Post#6 » by deanwoof » Mon Dec 28, 2015 12:22 am

This is LIFE not just sports /nba.

How many people do you know have a job because of their fathers or connections? Tons.
User avatar
Hindenburg
Head Coach
Posts: 7,426
And1: 13,845
Joined: Feb 10, 2015
 

Re: Nepotism in the NBA 

Post#7 » by Hindenburg » Mon Dec 28, 2015 12:24 am

I remember Billy Hunter got a ton of criticism for giving two cushy 100k+ jobs to his family members (I believe his daughters or something like that)

If you want to see real nepotism, look into US politics
Scott T
Sixth Man
Posts: 1,734
And1: 249
Joined: Jan 09, 2002
Location: East Bay
     

Re: Nepotism in the NBA 

Post#8 » by Scott T » Mon Dec 28, 2015 12:27 am

lakerhater wrote:I always thought one of the main reasons Mike Dunleavy Jr was drafted 3rd by GSW was done as somewhat of a favor by Garry St Jean on behalf of his buddy Dunleavy Sr.

Dunleavy Jr. was a great college player. It wasn't remotely close to being a reach at the time. Sure, there were plenty of people who thought Dunleavy would suck in the NBA (like myself for instance) but he was still considered a lock to go in the top 5. Plus that was a terrible draft class, I think if you did a redraft Dunleavy would still go top 10.
User avatar
laploutocratie
Lead Assistant
Posts: 4,932
And1: 12,248
Joined: Aug 16, 2014
     

Re: Nepotism in the NBA 

Post#9 » by laploutocratie » Mon Dec 28, 2015 12:31 am

Image

Begins and ends with this fool.
x XVII

6ixth_Man wrote:When I die, I want the Raptors to lower me into my grave, so they can let me down one last time
User avatar
Kevin Johnson
Analyst
Posts: 3,096
And1: 7,833
Joined: Jan 01, 2014

Re: Nepotism in the NBA 

Post#10 » by Kevin Johnson » Mon Dec 28, 2015 12:40 am

deanwoof wrote:This is LIFE not just sports /nba.

How many people do you know have a job because of their fathers or connections? Tons.


I've worked in a Big 3 Bank and also a couple of fortune 100 financial service companies. There are rules against nepotism although I've seen it circumvented at times. At the Big 3 bank, you were not allowed to have your relative work in the same organization unless I think you could get an exception from a higher band executive, etc. In the current financial services company I work for, you have to disclose all your relatives that work in company when you join.

This is done so that you are are hiring the most competent people and not your freaking family. The NBA doesn't seem to have anything to discourage this!

I am not saying this doesn't happen in the real world. It happens all the time and it sucks. But it seems accepted in the NBA. We only know about some high profile ones but it seems very prevalent and accepted.
Slava
Retired Mod
Retired Mod
Posts: 58,583
And1: 30,651
Joined: Oct 15, 2006
Location: København
     

Re: Nepotism in the NBA 

Post#11 » by Slava » Mon Dec 28, 2015 12:41 am

Ryan West worked himself from being a college scout to the Assistant GM with the Lakers over 12 years. I think he might have got the scouting job due to his connections but he's deserved the rest of it to his own hard work.
:king: + :angry: = :wizard:
lakerhater
General Manager
Posts: 9,481
And1: 1,887
Joined: Jul 04, 2002
 

Re: Nepotism in the NBA 

Post#12 » by lakerhater » Mon Dec 28, 2015 12:41 am

Scott T wrote:
lakerhater wrote:I always thought one of the main reasons Mike Dunleavy Jr was drafted 3rd by GSW was done as somewhat of a favor by Garry St Jean on behalf of his buddy Dunleavy Sr.

Dunleavy Jr. was a great college player. It wasn't remotely close to being a reach at the time. Sure, there were plenty of people who thought Dunleavy would suck in the NBA (like myself for instance) but he was still considered a lock to go in the top 5. Plus that was a terrible draft class, I think if you did a redraft Dunleavy would still go top 10.


It was a reach to me at the time as I saw him as an overrated NCAA player and I disliked the pick from the get go. Caron Butler, Amare or Nene could have been the pick but Jr had name recognition so GSW did what they always did back then and went with the safe pick with limited upside.
koogiking
Veteran
Posts: 2,776
And1: 1,072
Joined: Feb 15, 2011
 

Re: Nepotism in the NBA 

Post#13 » by koogiking » Mon Dec 28, 2015 12:45 am

laploutocratie wrote:Image

Begins and ends with this fool.



That fool got your team it's only championship in the last 25 years
turk3d
RealGM
Posts: 36,652
And1: 1,276
Joined: Jan 30, 2007
Location: Javale McGee, Dubs X Factor

Re: Nepotism in the NBA 

Post#14 » by turk3d » Mon Dec 28, 2015 12:48 am

Kirk Lacob (Joe Lacobs's son) is assistant GM on the Warriors. Does seem like a pretty bright kid.
Draymond Green: Exemplifies Warrior Leadership, Hustle, Desire, Versatility, Toughness, fearlessness, Grit, Heart,Team Spirit, Sacrifice
Image
Doctor MJ
Senior Mod
Senior Mod
Posts: 43,398
And1: 12,192
Joined: Mar 10, 2005
Location: Cali
   

Re: Nepotism in the NBA 

Post#15 » by Doctor MJ » Mon Dec 28, 2015 12:55 am

Kevin Johnson wrote:How bad is nepotism in the NBA?

We complain a lot about nepotism playing a role in Doc Rivers trading picks for his son whose NBA career looked like was coming to an end because he is a point guard who couldn't run the offense, shoot or finish.

But there are lots of cases in the NBA where people are only getting an opportunity because of their parents and their connections. Millions of us want a job in pro sports and it's very difficult to virtually impossible to get your foot in the door unless you're very gifted AND lucky. But you have Brian Colangelo, Donnie Nelson, JB Bickerstaff, Ryan West, etc. Obviously, someone like Nelson is pretty respected but would he ever even have the opportunity if he wasn't Nellie's son? Was he the most qualified candidate to be an assistant coach of the Mavericks when his dad was the head coach?


In terms of genetic nepotism, to me the place it's by far the biggest is also the place I don't think people really object to that much: Ownership-Management. Obviously Jim Buss doesn't have such a high power job if his father doesn't buy the team. It's not great, but what are you going to do?

I think that the thing we should be thinking about more, and people already do bring it up, are the hurdles someone without connections has to go through to get a coach/GM job. In particular something on my mind right now is that black coaches are disappearing from the ranks. If you'd ask me the big shift in coach/management in recent years, it's clearly analytics. Such a thing may well be the explanation for black coaches falling off, but it's a pretty ugly answer.

Getting back to Doc & Austin, I don't think there's any doubt that Doc's acquisition of his son, and his play of him, and his extension of the contract, is entirely inappropriate. However I don't see that as a more general issue. It's an issue because of what it does to the Clipper organization, and all of us know that the effects are bad.
Hey: With what's going on in the world, my fuse is shorter than it used to be, and it's leading my lose my cool and then go on self-imposed breaks from things (such as RealGM). Please try to keep it civil, and I'll be looking to do the same.
Doctor MJ
Senior Mod
Senior Mod
Posts: 43,398
And1: 12,192
Joined: Mar 10, 2005
Location: Cali
   

Re: Nepotism in the NBA 

Post#16 » by Doctor MJ » Mon Dec 28, 2015 12:58 am

Slava wrote:Ryan West worked himself from being a college scout to the Assistant GM with the Lakers over 12 years. I think he might have got the scouting job due to his connections but he's deserved the rest of it to his own hard work.


I also think what people need to understand is that in niches like these, someone is far more likely to put in the work to work their way up if they have someone in their family who can tell them what they need to do to reach the desired echelon. This relates to why it's so important in general to have outreach to 1st generation college students and underrepresented minorities in all areas. If it's an opaque mystery how to get to X, you're going to be much less likely to even try to get there.
Hey: With what's going on in the world, my fuse is shorter than it used to be, and it's leading my lose my cool and then go on self-imposed breaks from things (such as RealGM). Please try to keep it civil, and I'll be looking to do the same.
User avatar
BombsquadSammy
Forum Mod - Spurs
Forum Mod - Spurs
Posts: 9,028
And1: 19,007
Joined: Sep 03, 2014
Location: Somerton
     

Re: Nepotism in the NBA 

Post#17 » by BombsquadSammy » Mon Dec 28, 2015 1:03 am

Arp590 wrote:Steph Curry


Kobe 'Son of Jellybean' Bryant.
Image
User avatar
Kevin Johnson
Analyst
Posts: 3,096
And1: 7,833
Joined: Jan 01, 2014

Re: Nepotism in the NBA 

Post#18 » by Kevin Johnson » Mon Dec 28, 2015 1:04 am

turk3d wrote:Kirk Lacob (Joe Lacobs's son) is assistant GM on the Warriors. Does seem like a pretty bright kid.


Yeah but what are the chances that out of thousands and thousands of people out there, he was the best guy for the job? ZERO. You're basically passing up hiring some great guy to give your son/relative a job. Of course, depending on the owner, you might be giving a Billy King type the job so you might be better hiring your son.

But it's pretty fracked up that a relative rather than the best person for the job is being hired. I applied to a NBA analytics/programmer job and I didn't even get an interview. I was told there were over 5,000 that applied. Pretty unlikely that someone placed their relative in that position but think of a more glamorous NBA position like Scout without a really tangible/measurable skillset. Someone's son is hired and someone that would be great is passed up. Think about how much that could hurt a team when the guy that was passed up might recommend a couple of all-stars or a HOF over career.
Doctor MJ
Senior Mod
Senior Mod
Posts: 43,398
And1: 12,192
Joined: Mar 10, 2005
Location: Cali
   

Re: Nepotism in the NBA 

Post#19 » by Doctor MJ » Mon Dec 28, 2015 1:16 am

Kevin Johnson wrote:
turk3d wrote:Kirk Lacob (Joe Lacobs's son) is assistant GM on the Warriors. Does seem like a pretty bright kid.


Yeah but what are the chances that out of thousands and thousands of people out there, he was the best guy for the job? ZERO. You're basically passing up hiring some great guy to give your son/relative a job. Of course, depending on the owner, you might be giving a Billy King type the job so you might be better hiring your son.

But it's pretty fracked up that a relative rather than the best person for the job is being hired. I applied to a NBA analytics/programmer job and I didn't even get an interview. I was told there were over 5,000 that applied. Pretty unlikely that someone placed their relative in that position but think of a more glamorous NBA position like Scout without a really tangible/measurable skillset. Someone's son is hired and someone that would be great is passed up. Think about how much that could hurt a team when the guy that was passed up might recommend a couple of all-stars or a HOF over career.


I'm not going to dispute at all that this is nepotism, but it's important to understand that Jacob isn't really "assistant GM" in the classic sense, what he is is a guy in the room learning with the idea that he'll take over the "owner" role eventually. It is of course entirely unfair that he has access to that future role from a merit-based perspective, but sons taking over their father's business has always been the norm in business, and it will not ever go away altogether.

Remember also that while it's understandable to be particularly frustrated by the most high profile positions, there are very few of them. It's in the lower level positions where nepotism may be affecting the futures of large number of people, and also where the people at the top have a true interest in eliminating nepotism, and hence that's the place where conceivably things can be changed.
Hey: With what's going on in the world, my fuse is shorter than it used to be, and it's leading my lose my cool and then go on self-imposed breaks from things (such as RealGM). Please try to keep it civil, and I'll be looking to do the same.
turk3d
RealGM
Posts: 36,652
And1: 1,276
Joined: Jan 30, 2007
Location: Javale McGee, Dubs X Factor

Re: Nepotism in the NBA 

Post#20 » by turk3d » Mon Dec 28, 2015 5:36 am

What I understand to be the case, is that a few years ago that Joe Lacob first put him in charge of the D-League (gave him some phony title "Director of".When Lacob first took over Larry Riley was the GM (he "engineered" the David Lee trade). then he brought in Bob Meyers under the guise of Riley's understudy and shortly thereafter promoted Meyers to GM and moved Riley some other position (which I don't believer Riley was too pleased with).

Then he most recently followed up by I believe promoting Meyers to Vice-President (but still GM) and promoted Kirk to "Assistant GM". I believe that's how it went. As far as I'm concerned, you buy the team for $400 Mil at the time which seemed like a lot at the time then it's OK with me if you want to give your son a job, do whatever you want.

he bottom line is that it hasn't seemed to affect their success.TBH, I think at the very first he was involved in the team metrics analysis on a pretty high level and may have been leading the charge on that in the early stages. He probably is/was the Warrior expert in that. Although it sometime is, Nepotism is not always bad, depending on the person.
Draymond Green: Exemplifies Warrior Leadership, Hustle, Desire, Versatility, Toughness, fearlessness, Grit, Heart,Team Spirit, Sacrifice
Image

Return to The General Board