It's been five years since longtime NBA executive Rick Welts came out openly as gay. Now the president of the Golden State Warriors, Welts is profiled on HBO's "Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel." The show will air multiple times, the first at 10 p.m. EST Tuesday.
In 2011, Phoenix Suns president and CEO Rick Welts became the first openly gay man in the NBA, but had been influential in other facets of the game long before. Starting as a teenage ball boy, he eventually became media director for the Seattle Supersonics, followed by a 17-year stint in the NBA’s league office. There, he conceived and developed All-Star Weekend and the marketing campaign for the legendary 1992 Olympic "Dream Team," both of which elevated the NBA to new heights.
For decades, Welts, 63, navigated the often macho and homophobic sports world by keeping his sexuality private. These days, he doesn’t have to hide. REAL SPORTS correspondent Soledad O’Brien sits down with Welts, now the Golden State Warriors president and COO, and his partner, Todd Gage. She also talks to former commissioner David Stern, who brought Welts into the NBA league office, and goes behind the scenes at this year’s All-Star Weekend in Toronto to capture the essence of the festivities he helped create.