Miller, Besnati and Piombetti Round Out Revamped Basketball Operations Department


The Los Angeles Clippers today announced that Gerald Madkins has been hired as the team’s Director of Basketball Operations. 

Directly reporting to newly appointed Vice President of Basketball Operations Gary Sacks, Madkins will work closely with Sacks on all facets of the team’s basketball operations. 

Madkins joins the Clippers after serving as the Vice President of Player Personnel for the New Orleans Hornets for the past two seasons. In his role with the Hornets, Madkins was responsible for overseeing the scouting staff, salary cap and database management, pro, college, international, and developmental league talent evaluation, as well as assisting the general manager with all front office duties. While in New Orleans, the Hornets drafted Anthony Davis with the first overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft.

Prior to his role in New Orleans, Madkins served as the Director of Scouting for the Houston Rockets from 2008-2010. During his time in Houston, the Rockets advanced to the Western Conference semi-finals in 2009 and acquired Trevor Ariza and Kevin Martin via free agency. The Rockets also drafted Sergio Llul (34th pick) and Chase Budinger, (44th pick) in the 2009 NBA draft, and Patrick Patterson (14th pick) in the 2010 NBA draft. In addition to overseeing the scouting staff and evaluating college, developmental league and international talent, Madkins assisted the basketball operations staff with statistical analysis. Madkins also served as the Vice President of Player Personnel for Houston’s NBA Developmental League affiliate, the Rio Grand Valley Vipers. 

Prior to his role with the Rockets, Madkins served as the Director of West Coast Scouting for the former Seattle Supersonics and current Oklahoma City Thunder. During his tenure, the Sonics drafted Russell Westbrook (4th pick), Serge Ibaka (24th pick) and DJ White (29th pick) in the 2008 NBA draft. Madkins also served as a scout for the New York Knicks from 2003-07, when the Knicks notably drafted Trevor Ariza with the 43rd pick in 2003. The Knicks also drafted Channing Frye (8th pick) Nate Robinson (22nd pick) and David Lee (30th pick) in the 2004 NBA draft, and Wilson Chandler (17th pick) among others during Madkins’ tenure.

Born April 18, 1969, Madkins had a standout career at UCLA, where he played from 1987-1992.  Madkins served as a team captain his senior year, in which the Bruins won the Pac-10 Championship and advanced to the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament. The Merced, California native still ranks in the top 10 in career assists, steals, and 3 point field goal percentage for the Bruins.

Following his career at UCLA, Madkins played professionally for 8 years in the NBA (Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, Golden State Warriors) the Continental Basketball Association (Grand Rapids Hoops, Rockford Lightning) the Spanish Basketball League (Joventut Badalona) and the French Basketball League (Pitch Cholet. Following his pro career, Madkins coached at California State University Stanislaus  (2000-01.) He then returned to his alma mater, UCLA, where he served as an assistant coach for 2 seasons (2001-03) and coached NBA veterans Dan Gadzuric and Jason Kapono, as well as current Clippers Matt Barnes and Ryan Hollins.

Also new to the basketball operations department is Eric Miller, who will step into the role of Director of Basketball Administration.  Miller’s responsibilities will include salary cap and database management, contract negotiations, analytics, scheduling of preseason games as well as assisting the Vice President of Basketball Operations in all other front office duties.  Prior to joining the Clippers, Miller worked seven years as a CPA in public accounting in the San Fernando Valley.  A 2000 graduate of Cal State Northridge with a degree in Accountancy, Miller, his wife Joanna and their four children Hannah, Luke, Ava and Sofia reside in Calabasas.

Returning for his eighth season as Director of International Scouting and his 11th overall season with the team is Fabrizio Besnati.

Besnati’s responsibilities include the global scouting of both draft eligible players as well as potential free agents who are playing in professional leagues worldwide. Besnati’s professional career began in 1999 when he accepted the front office position of Assistant General Manager of Russia’s St. Petersburg Lions while they were participating in Euroleague competition.

After the experience with the Russian team, Besnati accepted a similar position with Austria’s Traiskirchen Lions. He then moved on to work for the international sports agency, Interperformances, Inc., as a personnel consultant focusing on Eastern Europe and Africa.

Besnati grew up in Varese, Italy but attended high school in Prescott, Arizona in 1991. He speaks five languages and currently resides in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Belgrade, Serbia.

Rounding out the changes in the basketball operations department is Jason Piombetti, who has been promoted to the position of Director of Scouting. This marks Piombetti’s eighth overall season with the team.  Piombetti previously held the position of Scouting Coordinator for the past two seasons after joining the Clippers as Basketball Operations Assistant in 2005.  He came to the Clippers after serving two seasons (2003-05) in the baseball operations department for the Los Angeles Dodgers.  In his current role, Piombetti will oversee the team’s domestic scouting efforts and evaluate prospects in college and the NBA D-League and will also assist in the day-to-day activities of the basketball operations department.  In addition, he will continue to compile information for the upcoming NBA Draft.  Piombetti graduated from Cal Poly San Louis Obispo in 2003 with a double-major in Biology and Business Administration and was a member of the Mustang baseball team.  A New Jersey native, Piombetti and his wife Christina reside in Beverly Hills.