Posted by Melanie Curtsinger, Friday, June 22, 2012, 10:45 AM
Is 30 Just a Number?
The Orlando Magic introduced 30-year-old Rob Hennigan as the general manager of the Orlando Magic on Thursday, choosing a man who is 30 years old to run the basketball operations of the professional franchise. Hennigan, who is 30, comes to the Magic from the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs regimes, most recently as the assistant GM to the Western Conference champion Thunder. Oh, and by the way – did I mention he was 30?
I say these things in jest, because if you take one look at the headlines on Hennigan’s hiring, it reads a little like this: “Orlando Magic hire 30-year-old Rob Hennigan as GM” – USA Today. “Rob Hennigan, 30, introduced as new Orlando Magic general manager.” – ESPN.com. Can you imagine if the story of your life read like that? I guess mine would say: “Melanie Curtsinger, 31, is heading to the beach this weekend to relax with some friends and hopefully try paddleboarding for the first time.”
If you google “age 30,” you will be stunned at what comes up. Did you know that approximately 3,789,800 Americans will turn 30 this year, and that 15 percent of Americans are in their thirties? Thirty-year-olds have also already lost 10 percent of their muscle mass by the time they reach this decade of life (guess I need to hit the gym after finishing this), while the average 30-year-old woman is 5’4” (good to know I’m above average in something!).
Which brings me to my point – is age really just a number? And if not, then what were some of the most prolific and decorated human beings in our history doing at the ripe old age of 30 years old? I guess we can start with myself. At age 30, I was promoted to communications manager for the Magic, which I thought was a pretty awesome gig. I mean, now I’m in charge of media credentials and media operations on game days. I know, I know, I’m kind of a big deal.
But, if you take a look at where some people were in life at age 30, Hennigan might not seem so out of place. Did you know that 20 percent of all medical scientists, chemists and physicists did their Nobel peace prize-winning work by the time they were 30? Or how about J.K. Rowling, who published the first of the “Harry Potter” series at the ripe age of 31? By 30, Albert Einstein, the man who said that “a person who has not made a great contribution to science before the age of 30 will never do so” had already told us that E equaled MC squared and had helped lay the foundations of quantum theory.
OK, so I know we may not all be Einsteins-in-the-making, but just allow me to continue with my point – just as you don’t judge a book by its cover, you can’t judge a person by their age. Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins (who, by the way, was chosen as the PR director for the Magic in his mid-20s) candidly pointed out in Hennigan’s introductory press conference that his age wasn’t on his resume, but his body of work was – a body of work that would be impressive for a guy 20 years his senior. He may be the youngest GM in the NBA, but his mentor, Sam Presti, was promoted to GM of the Thunder at his exact age a few years ago, and that team’s success is something that Hennigan wants to replicate right here in the City Beautiful. In fact, his favorite baseball team, the Boston Red Sox, won their first World Series title in 86 years back in 2004 with a GM who was – you guessed it, 30.
I’m not insinuating that Hennigan is guaranteeing a world championship here in Orlando next season; he said it best himself –our goal here moving forward is just to get better each and every day. However, I can tell you that we inside the organization firmly believe that Rob Hennigan – at age 30 – was and is the best choice for the Orlando Magic’s general manager and is the person that is going to lead us there.