In 1994, Whitsitt was named the NBA Executive of the Year—but in 1978 he was just an intern for the Indiana Pacers. Over the next decade and a half, he would find his way to the front lines of an athletic revolution, leading a transformation that took the NBA from an asterisk in sports to a global phenomenon.
By 1986, at the tender age of thirty, Whitsitt had been recruited to salvage the Seattle SuperSonics, whose glory had faded after the 1979 NBA championship. In just one season, and after many daring player trades, Whitsitt guided the team back to fighting form and into the playoffs. Whitsitt’s grit and risk-taking moves caught the eye of billionaire Paul Allen, who coaxed the savvy executive into taking the helm of the Portland Trail Blazers and leading them back into championship contention. Whitsitt went on to play a pivotal role in convincing Allen to purchase the Seahawks to keep them in town, lobbying for a new stadium—and the implosion of the iconic Kingdome—and ushering in a new era of professional football in Seattle. Whitsitt is the only person to have been both the president and general manager of the Seahawks, Sonics, and Trail Blazers.
In Game Changer, Whitsitt offers insights and stories from the glory days of three beloved teams, including
- how he earned the nickname Trader Bob by mapping his trades many moves—and even years—ahead;
- his prescient recruitment of one of the first straight-to-pro basketball players, Shawn Kemp—and why his second signing of Kemp was one of his worst missteps;
- his time-tested negotiation tips for any situation;
- how he knew the mercurial George Karl was the right man to coach Shawn Kemp, Gary Payton, and the rest of the scene-stealing Sonics team;
- the truth behind the heroics needed to keep the Seahawks in Seattle;
- his rankings of the all-time-best NBA players and coaches;
- advice for how to get a job in professional sports.
An unprecedented view into the front office of three of the most beloved franchises in the NBA and NFL during their most pivotal years, Game Changer offers a new vision for pro sports, perfect for students of the game, lifelong fans, and sophisticated dealmakers alike.
|5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)