Golden State Warriors President Talks Nash, Opening Night


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Golden State Warriors President and Chief Operations Officer Rick Welts is an extremely funny guy. For a Seahawks fan.

Golden Gate Sports took note of that small little fact as one of the many media outlets that attended the Chat Sports: Minds Behind the Game event last Monday evening, which featured a sports panel duo consisting of Welts and San Francisco Giants Senior Vice President and General Manager, Bobby Evans.

The event took place at Pivotal Labs in San Francisco, and the panel was moderated by James Yoder, the founder and CEO of Chat Sports.

With a couple of flavored water bottles on a table and two projector screens flanking each side of the panel area, Monday’s activities combined the professionalism of a press conference with the light-heartedness of a networking event to create an environment that every sports fan has to experience at least once in their lifetime.

Having both Welts and Evans talking sports in the same room — along with their respective championship trophies — was truly a sight to behold, and both were incredibly engaging with an audience made up entirely of Bay Area sports fans.

Welts, in particular, had a couple of great stories to share, opening the panel with an anecdote about his father and how their relationship would develop Welts’ love for sports.

Welts would go on to answer questions on other things during the panel, topics of which included the new Mission Bay/San Francisco arena to be built, his role within the organization, and the nervousness that followed the two times the Warriors went down two-games-to-one last postseason — once against the Memphis Grizzlies in the second round, then later on against Cleveland Cavaliers in the Finals.

Also among the list of topics was the Mark Jackson firing and subsequent Steve Kerr hiring, the benefits of building organically rather than signing marquee free agents to big money contracts, the characteristics of a winning culture, and the question of whether winners are born or made.

Here’s the hour-and-a-half long video of the panel:

After the panel, Welts was able to stay behind and interact with some audience members while standing next to the Larry O’Brien championship trophy.

Golden Gate Sports was allotted just a couple minutes with the Warriors president and COO, which was used to ask him three questions regarding recent news and upcoming events.

"Q: You were with Steve Nash back when he was playing with the Phoenix Suns. Did you happen to have a hand in him becoming involved with the Warriors?"

WELTS: We haven’t exactly confirmed that’s he’s going to be there, but if he was going to be there, I certainly added my endorsement to the idea.

There are two things I think you think of when you think of Steve Nash and his career: preparation and discipline. I think those are the things that [he has more of], more than any other player I’ve ever been around. He has better preparation, better discipline about preparing himself for the task at hand.

That’s a wonderful trait to share with young players, so should we be lucky enough to finalize that, I’d be a really happy guy.

"Q: From what I understand, Nash wasn’t looking to take a NBA coaching job anytime soon, so did you say anything exactly to him to help persuade him to come to Golden State?"

WELTS: I mean, he has relationships with a lot of the people in our organization. He came to some games in the playoffs last year because I think the style of play of the Warriors is very reminiscent to him of the best Phoenix Suns teams we had.

We (the Warriors) play a little better defense than those teams in Phoenix, but the fast paced style, the point guard who really makes the show go…I think there’s a lot of similarities in the styles of the two teams.

"Q: Last question — I know you alluded to some “differences” that could occur during the upcoming banner ceremony at Oracle Arena to make it more memorable rather than traditional. Is there anything you can give me as far as specific details?"

WELTS: Absolutely nothing! I’ll see you at Opening Night.

Much thanks to Rick Welts for his time, and also a huge thank you goes out to Chat Sports for giving us the opportunity to cover the event!

Next: Steve Nash Adds Wisdom to the Warriors

More from Golden State Warriors