Kevin Pritchard GM Seminar

Scott Agness headshot
by Scott Agness

January 29, 2013

var switchTo5x=true;stLight.options({publisher:'27ece164-32c3-401c-84c5-129105109cc2'});

Have you ever wanted to run a professional franchise? Or at least have your hand in key decisions? It’s appealing, right?

Now more than ever, degrees and resources are available for those aiming to work in the front office. Indiana Pacers General Manager Kevin Pritchard realizes that interest has skyrocketed over the last decade and so he’s going to teach the basics in an upcoming seminar, free for eight lucky Pacers fans.

Pritchard, a six-year NBA player, has worked in an NBA front office since 2004 when he was the director of player personnel for the Portland Trail Blazers. In 2007, he was promoted to General Manager. He’s currently in his second season with the Pacers and first as GM.

An hour before the Pacers-Raptors game on Feb. 8, Pritchard is hosting a seminar, "How to Be a GM." He’s had the idea for a while, but after receiving tremendous feedback on twitter, he decided to move forward with the idea.

"I thought about it a couple of times and the one thing I know is there’s a lot of people that want to get into business and they also need to get a little direction number one, but also get a foundation," Pritchard explained.

The job is so complex that it would probably take days to understand some of the nuances and pieces to working in a front office. That’s why Pritchard says he will cover the fundamentals—which are just as important upstairs as they are on the basketball court. He also plans to answer questions from the participants.

"You can’t really get into too much detail, but what you can do is give them a foundation so they can understand what being a general manager is all about, see if they want to do it, and how to get into the business and what is my typical day made up of."

To earn a front office position, you have to be willing to work your way up. Just take a look at Peter Dinwiddie’s story. Before the season, he was promoted to Vice President of Basketball Operations, but he started with the franchise in ticket sales. A 'whatever it takes' mentality and perseverance are both vital components.

Nothing is effortless in a profession that on the outside appears glamorous, yet is extremely trying and ultra-competitive. In the NBA, there are only 30 general managers plus a few other complementary positions with each team.

A general manager oversees the basketball side of a franchise, from the head coach on down. They are in charge of the scouts, coaching staff, and players – in essence, the product that is put on the floor every night.

Balancing your checkbook is one thing. Try handling contracts, negotiating and making all 15 player contracts work for both the present and future of a franchise. GMs are constantly in contact with the 29 other teams to gauge interest in each team’s players and the possibilities of working a deal.

It's certainly not easy, and it's definitely not a 9-5 job.

Note: The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Indiana Pacers. All opinions expressed by Scott Agness are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Indiana Pacers, their partners, or sponsors.