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Spurs first Black GM

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SAN ANTONIO (July 23, 2019) – Spurs Sports & Entertainment today announced that RC Buford has been named CEO of Spurs Sports & Entertainment, effective Sept. 3. The two-time NBA Executive of the Year has spent a total of 29 years with SS&E.

“RC Buford is one of the most highly-respected leaders in professional sports,” said SS&E Chairman Peter J. Holt. “His vision, innovation and drive have helped shape our values and culture. We are thrilled to have RC leading the organization into the future.”

Buford first joined the Silver and Black as an assistant coach on Larry Brown’s staff in 1988. He then spent one season with the Los Angeles Clippers and one season at the University of Florida before returning to San Antonio in 1994 as a member of then-Spurs General Manager Gregg Popovich’s staff.Buford was promoted to Spurs Director of Scouting in 1997 and took on the role of vice president and assistant general manager in 1999. Buford was named the Spurs General Manager in 2002 before being promoted to President of Sports Franchises in 2008.

In addition, SS&E announced that long-time top executives Rick Pych and Lawrence Payne have elected to transition into strategic advisory roles with the organization. The two leaders, with a combined 70 years of Spurs service, will remain heavily involved with various key projects and strategic planning at SS&E.

“Rick and LP have been instrumental in the success of the Spurs for many years,” said Holt. “Their passion, influence and leadership have allowed all of us to succeed. It’s impossible to list the numerous contributions they’ve made to the organization. All of us are grateful that we’ll be able to continue to tap into their knowledge and intelligence for years to come.”

Pych, who begins his 27th season with SS&E, has served as the organization’s president and co-CEO since 2016. He started with the organization as the team’s CFO in 1993. In 2000 he was named an executive vice president before assuming the role of president of business operations in 2008.

Payne, currently an executive vice president, is the longest tenured full-time employee in franchise history, starting with the Spurs in 1976 after receiving his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Texas at Austin.

At the same time, the organization has announced that Brian Wright has been promoted to Spurs General Manager while Lori Warren and Bobby Perez have been elevated to executive vice president roles. Warren and Perez will lead the business side of SS&E.

Wright, who will manage day-to-day basketball operations duties, spent 10 seasons working with the Orlando Magic and Detroit Pistons before being named the Spurs Assistant General Manager in 2016.

Warren, who has been with the organization for 26 years, most recently served as SS&E’s senior vice president of corporate finance and brand strategy.

Perez, a San Antonio native, joined SS&E in 2013 as the organization’s senior vice president general counsel and corporate relations after spending 20 years at Shelton & Valadez P.C.

SS&E has grown to include 400-plus full-time employees and over 1,000 part-time staff. In addition to capturing five NBA Championships, the Spurs were named the top franchise in professional sports four times in ESPN’s annual fan survey. The SS&E family also includes the San Antonio Rampage (AHL), Austin Spurs (NBA G League), San Antonio FC (USL) and Silver & Black Give Back (501(c)(3)), as well as the AT&T Center, Toyota Field and the STAR Soccer Complex.

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No Limits

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Music Mogal and business man Master P and former NBA Player Baron Davis are in talks to make boss moves to buy Reebok for around $2.4 billion. Adidas, the parent company of Rebook is looking to sell the sports brand. This purchase would be historical and could put money back into the communities that helped make the company what it is today.

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Athletes of the Year

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Three time tennis Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka and 4-time NBA Champion LeBron James were named AP’s 2020 athletes of the year. They were recognized for their efforts and accomplishments on and off the court. Both athletes have been very outspoken on issues regarding injustices like police brutality and racism following the deaths of several Black Americans during encounters with police this year. Congratulations on the victory! Keep speaking!

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Jackson State Football Team On Probation

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Deion Sanders is the NHCIC (New Head Coach In Charge) at Jackson State University; however, he’s going to have to work through some drama that took place before his being named the team’ new coach.

Last week the NCAA reported that the Jackson State football team had violated NCAA Certification and recruiting rules (between 2014-2018) according to an agreement released by the Division 1 Committee on Infractions and the team was placed on two year’s probation also resulting in a fine of $5,000, a recruiting ban and other penalties. The university and the NCAA enforcement staff agreed that 34 student-athletes had practiced and competed before receiving final certification from the NCAA Eligibility Center. The university also acknowledged and agreed that it failed to monitor its certification process.

For more on the developed story visit www.ncaa.org.

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