Golden State Warriors president Rick Welts has been selected to the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame. The announcement was made today at the Men’s Final Four in San Antonio.
Starting as an @NBA ball boy and eventually working in the league office, this man’s career has been an incredible journey. With a key role in marketing ‘92 Dream Team and the launch of the @WNBA, we congratulate Rick Welts. #18HoopClass— Basketball HOF (@Hoophall) March 31, 2018
: Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images pic.twitter.com/9ohh6C5EX6
Welts is the first openly gay man to be elected to the Hall of Fame, an incredible and historic feat. He has been in the NBA in some capacity since 1969 and served as the league’s Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer from 1996-1999. He is created with the early building and marketing of the Dream Team and the WNBA.
Welts came out in 2011 and blazed the trail for other openly gay front office members in the league. After coming out, Welts resigned from his position with the Phoenix Suns to become the Warriors president, and the team has won two championships since he joined the team.
ESPN’s announcement broadcast never mentioned Welts’ place in history as an out gay man.
Congratulations Rick on your well-deserved spot in the Hall of Fame!