Wayne Embry: The Front Office Pioneer
While Wayne Embry enjoyed a solid playing career, his overall impact on basketball stems from both his on-court and off-court activities. He was a rugged forward-center for eleven professional seasons with the Cincinnati Royals, Boston Celtics, and Milwaukee Bucks who never minded mixing it up under the basket. Embry finally reached the pinnacle in 1968 when he won an NBA championship with the Celtics. In 1971, Embry was named Milwaukee’s general manager, becoming the first African-American to hold that position in the NBA. From 1985 to 1992, he was vice-president and general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and became the NBA's first African-American team president with the Cavaliers in 1994. In Cleveland's first 16 years, the Cavs averaged 31 wins and four playoff appearances, but under Embry’s guidance the club averaged 45 wins and made nine playoff appearances over the next twelve years. In 2004 Embry was named Senior Basketball Advisor for the Toronto Raptors. The Sporting News named Embry the NBA Executive of the Year in 1992 and 1998.