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I have a dream job of being the NBA commissioner but I am not sure what I should study in college to help me achieve this goal.

I know this is a goal I will have to work to but I want to know where to start. #NBA

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Subject: Career question for you

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Casey’s Answer

If your school has a Sports Management or Sports Business option - that would be ideal! But, I majored in Marketing and was able to get a great job for an NBA team! It's about your experience - and make sure to volunteer, or work, any sport related events you can while in college! My "Game Day" work with an NFL team helped lead me to connections within the NBA. Sports is a small world, everyone knows everyone!!
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Marc’s Answer

Most sports commissioners are lawyers by trade, although that doesn't make it a requirement. From there, it is all about networking.

Consider a different dream of being a team owner, so the commissioner works for you!
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Paul’s Answer

Past and recent NBA commissioners, like Larry O'Brien, David Stern and Adam Silver came from legal backgrounds. O'brien graduated from the Northeastern University School of Law, Stern graduated from the Columbia University School of law, and Silver received his law degree from the University of Chicago. Law schools are very flexible regarding which majors they will accept. The primarily look at a students academic achievements, LSAT scores, college activities and professional recommendations. Stern worked in a law firm, which was actually involved in cases representing NBA players. So this is where he got much of his experience working within the NBA Players Association. O'brien was the head of the Democratic National Committee and was heavily involved in politics before he became the NBA commissioner. Understanding the NBA, its legal status, and anti-trust laws is mandatory in order to be successful as a commissioner. Stern took a major in History, which enabled him to get a better understanding of government and how it applied to private businesses and individuals. I would recommend looking at majors and courses which are closely associated with the law and business, which could potentially lead to a future career in law and a possible internship with an NBA team or associated law firm. This means focusing in on courses which review elements such as business, political science, history, law (including business law, constitutional law, politics and government classes, and other social science related courses). An academic plan and track, would include classes which emphasize a subjects such as History, Pre-Law, Politics and Government, and Business.

Paul recommends the following next steps:

Search college catalog for social science classes which will assist in a future law degree track or major. Including History, Politics and Government (Political Science) and Business.
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Naim’s Answer

Hi Dorian,

Becoming the NBA commissioner is indeed an ambitious goal, and there are several paths you can take to work towards it. Here are some suggestions on what you could study in college and the types of jobs you might consider to help you achieve this goal:

Study Areas:
Business Administration: A degree in business administration can provide you with a solid foundation in management, finance, and leadership skills, which are essential for overseeing the operations of a major sports organization like the NBA.

Sports Management: Pursuing a degree in sports management can give you specialized knowledge and skills relevant to the sports industry, including sports marketing, event management, and sports law.

Law: Studying law can be valuable, especially considering the legal aspects involved in sports governance and management. Understanding contract law, labor law, and intellectual property law can be particularly relevant.

Communication or Public Relations: Effective communication and public relations skills are crucial for a role like NBA commissioner. Consider studying communication, journalism, or public relations to develop these skills.

Internships and Entry-Level Jobs:

Internships with Sports Organizations: Look for internships with NBA teams, sports agencies, or other sports organizations. This will give you firsthand experience in the industry and help you build a network of contacts.

Entry-Level Positions in Sports Management: Consider starting your career in entry-level positions within sports management, such as working in ticket sales, marketing, or operations for a sports team or organization.

Legal Internships or Assistant Roles: If you're interested in the legal aspects of sports, consider internships or assistant roles with law firms specializing in sports law or with sports organizations' legal departments.

Networking and Experience:

Attend Industry Events: Attend sports industry conferences, seminars, and networking events to meet professionals already working in the field and gain insights into the industry.

Volunteer or Work in Sports: Gain experience by volunteering or working part-time in roles related to sports management, event planning, or sports marketing. This can help you build relevant skills and demonstrate your commitment to the industry.

Ultimately, pursuing a combination of education, relevant work experience, and networking opportunities will help you build a strong foundation for achieving your dream job of becoming the NBA commissioner. Keep your goals in mind, stay proactive in seeking out opportunities, and be prepared to work hard to make your dream a reality. Good luck on your journey!

Warm regards,
Naim Rahaim
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