The NBA has an award for everything and one of them that fans don't hear much about but means plenty within the fraternity of people involved with the NBA is the Splaver/McHugh "Tribute to Excellence'' Award.
Every year, it goes to a person who is or has been a member of the NBA public-relations family.
This year, the pickers could not have done better, awarding it to Tommy Sheppard, the Washington Wizards' VP of Basketball Administration who oversaw all internal and external player relations with the Denver Nuggets before joining the Wizards.
Sheppard has been in the NBA 16 seasons and is universally considered one fo the best communicators and organizers in the league, not to mention one of the best dudes.
He's scouted, dealt with agents, mastered the salary cap, evaluated college and high-school talent and pretty much done it all as Wizard president Ernie Grunfeld's right-hand man.
Among other winners of the award are: Former NBA VP of international communications Terry Lyons (2008), former Seattle PR director and current Phoenix Suns' president and CEO Rick Welts (2006) and former Mavericks' PR Director Kevin Sullivan in 2004. He went on to be White House Communications Director under President George W. Bush.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Here's to T-Shep with a story courtesy of Eddie Sefko at the Dallas Morning News. Sefko "broke" this baby quite quickly... must've had a source at the NBA or in the District: