Lance Blanks Bio
An experienced and successful talent evaluator, former player and veteran NBA executive Lance Blanks begins his third season as general manager of the Phoenix Suns. More than ever before, the 2012-13 Suns will feature the imprint of Blanks, who was hired after free agency in 2010 and workedthrough an abridged 2011 offseason due to the NBA lockout.
Blanks combines the high basketball IQ of a former player with a 10-year track record in the front offices of two of the league’s most successful franchises over the last decade. The 46-year-old Blanks joined the Suns after spending the previous five seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers as vice president of basketball operations and assistant general manager, a tenure during which the Cavs owned an overall record of 272-138 (.663). The Cavs were champions of the Eastern Conference in 2007 where they took on Blanks’ former team, the San Antonio Spurs.
Prior to joining the Cavaliers in 2005, Blanks spent five seasons with the Spurs, originally joining the club in 2000 as a scout. Blanks was then promoted to the role of director of scouting in September 2002. During his time in the Alamo City, the Spurs won two NBA Championships and drafted Tony Parker and Luis Scola. He also served as the Spurs’ television analyst for both the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons.
Selected in the first round of the 1990 NBA Draft (26th overall) by the Detroit Pistons, Blanks spent two seasons with the Pistons and one with the Minnesota Timberwolves, appearing in 142 career NBA games. He played one season in the CBA and three in Europe where he led teams in Hungary and Cyprus to league championships. A former Texas “Mr. Basketball” as a high school standout in 1985, Blanks played two collegiate seasons at the University of Virginia before transferring to the University of Texas and leading the Longhorns to the Elite Eight in the 1990 NCAA Tournament. Blanks’ 20.0-point collegiate scoring average ranks third-highest in Longhorn history. His 1,322 points rank as the most scored by a two-year player in the school’s history, and he finished his career as the all-time leader in steals at Texas.
For 10 years Blanks has worked as a camp director in the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program, which has encouraged positive social change in education, health and wellness through basketball since its inception in 2003. He also serves on the steering committee for the Ron Brown Scholar Program, established in 1996 to provide academic scholarships, service opportunities and leadership experiences to young scholars of outstanding promise. It ranks as one of the nation’s leading scholarship programs for youth.
Blanks has two daughters, Riley and Bryn, who both attend the University of Virginia. His father, Sid, played eight NFL seasons with Houston, Washington and New England; his cousin, Larvel, played eight seasons of MLB baseball.