Warriors losing crucial member of organization to retirement
An important member of the Golden State Warriors will be stepping away from the team and heading into retirement at the end of the season. Warriors president and chief operating officer Rick Welts will retire at the end of the season.
ESPN Sources: Golden State President and CEO Rick Welts plans to retire at the end of the season. He’s run GSW’s business side for a decade. Welts was first openly gay pro sports executive and a member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as a contributor.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 8, 2021
Welts, who has been in the NBA for 46 seasons, began his tenure with the Warriors in 2011, and helped the team to succeed not just on the court, but also off the court from a business standpoint. As Golden State won three championships and made five consecutive trips to the NBA Finals, the team also became one of the most popular in the league.
For his time in the league and different roles with the Seattle Supersonics, Phoenix Suns, and the Warriors, Welts was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018. Back in 2011, he also became the highest-ranking executive in men’s professional team sports to publicly acknowledge he was gay.
During his time in charge of the team, the Warriors earned several business accolades, such as being named the “Franchise of the Decade” among all sports teams by the Sports Business Journal in 2019. Welts also oversaw the construction and completion of the team’s new state-of-the-art arena, Chase Center, which opened in September 2019.
Aside from his success with the Warriors, Welts also owns the distinction of being a part of a champion team in the NBA, WNBA, and the G-League, with his teams reaching the NBA Finals a total of seven times.
After his retirement, the 68-year-old will remain with the team as an advisor, and the Warriors are expected to announce his replacement within the week.