Some of what it takes to be a Top Notch GM in the NBA
Came across this old article earlier today … which just happens to speak to this issue while profiling an individual like Carroll Dawson who fits nicely into this category of executive in the history of this league. Thought others who may not have seen it yet might enjoy reading it for themselves.
[once you click on the link below scroll down to page 10]
Dawson winding down memorable career
“Everyone knew you trade Steve Francis for Tracy McGrady, because you’re trying to get a star,” said Van Gundy. “It’s how you surround those guys. Team building is much more difficult.”
“We’ve always been risk takers,” said Dawson. “We got criticized highly for (drafting Yao Ming). We got killed for taking Robert Horry (over USC’s Harold Miner).”
Van Gundy appreciated working with someone who had sat in his position. “Having coached, he has an idea how emotionally challenging it is,” Van Gundy said. “You may come in the office and want to blow off steam and get rid of everybody. He’s very even keeled.”
The switch from working with Rudy T. to JVG meant a major change for Dawson. He and Tomjanovich were extremely close. “During the season, I’m down here, he’s up there,” said Van Gundy, who has an office inside the Rockets locker room. “During the season he doesn’t pester you and I don’t go up there every day with a wild trade idea. I’m harder to communicate with because I get more tunnel vision.”
There was a rumor that Dawson and Van Gundy weren’t talking. Van Gundy said that wasn’t true. It was simply a matter of them being more business associates than friends. “There’s a big age difference,” said the 45-year-old Van Gundy. “I think the wives are closer. I’ve never had any communication problem with him because he’s an expert at the art.”
With Yao Ming sidelined, Van Gundy told Dawson the Rockets needed more size. Dawson traded shooting forward Scott Padgett to Memphis for 7-2 Jake Tsakalidis. “I tell him basically what I think we need,” said Van Gundy. “He and his staff do all the heavy lifting. You’re not going to agree on everything. He can disagree with you without being disagreeable. He’s got a great way of diffusing anger and situations.”
Dawson never sought the spotlight. “Everybody likes credit, but he doesn’t seek it,” said Van Gundy. “It’s not about playing guys he traded for, or he signed.”
Dawson considers himself a lucky man. “I’ve had three great jobs in my life and I didn’t have enough sense to apply for any of them,” he said. “I get 10-20 resumes a week from people trying to get a job in the league.” He collected several championship rings, two with the Rockets, four with the Comets, even one from the Dallas Cowboys 1977 Super Bowl champs. He doesn’t wear any of them.
“If I wore a ring, it would be ’94,” he said. “I said, ‘Lord, if we can win it one time, I’ll never ask for anything again.’ “That’s the biggest lie in the world. You want to win it every year.”
Lots of important lessons there for those who would truly like to learn more about what’s involved with this type of position/individual in the NBA.