General managers are crucial to a team’s success. They are the ones responsible for trades, free agent signings and drafting players. The general manager is the “head honcho” of sorts, and their decisions can make or break a team. So, it’s safe to say they play a big role. 

In the NBA, there are 30 teams. There are 29 teams with general managers, as the Minnesota Timberwolves have a vacancy in that position. Out of those 29 teams, 10 teams have black general managers. And there are nine black assistant managers. 

While there is still work to do, the black general managers of the league are doing great things. And hopefully, their success continues to break down doors for those that come after them. 

Here are four black general managers doing great things with their teams.

1.) Koby Altman, Cleveland Cavaliers

Koby Altman is a strong contender for NBA Executive of the Year. He is the general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers, which is a team that is exceeding expectations. The Cavaliers were a lottery team last year and now find themselves in playoff contention. And Altman’s decisions have played a big part in their success. 

Altman was named general manager of the Cavs in 2017. He was an assistant general manager prior to that and was director of pro personnel when Cleveland won their first championship. 

Altman has a history and knowledge of the game. He played basketball at Middlebury College and earned a master’s degree in Sports Management. He was an assistant coach for a few years (including while getting his master’s), and his journey led to him joining the Cavs and rising the ranks. 

As a general manager, Altman’s first move was sending Kyrie Irving to the Celtics for Isaiah Thomas. Since then, he’s made deals that contributed to where they are today. This includes drafting players like Collin Sexton, Darius Garland and Evan Mobley. Altman also picked up Jarrett Allen through Cleveland’s involvement with the James Harden to Brooklyn trade. His most recent deal was getting Caris LeVert from the Indiana Pacers. 

The Cleveland Cavaliers are on the right path, and it is thanks to Altman’s decisions. 

2.) Calvin Booth, Denver Nuggets

Calvin Booth is the general manager of the Denver Nuggets. He was named general manager on July 7, 2020, after being an assistant for the Nuggets for a few years. 

Booth started off his front office career as a scout for the New Orleans Pelicans and went on to become director of player personnel for the Minnesota Timberwolves. 

Booth spent 10 years in the NBA as a player. He was drafted by the Washington Wizards in 1999 and played for teams like the Dallas Mavericks, Milwaukee Bucks and more. 

The Nuggets are one of the top teams of the West, and every year, they are in the playoff race. Booth will likely keep it that way. 

3.) Marc Eversley, Chicago Bulls

Marc Eversley is the general manager of the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls are one of the most surprising teams this season, and like the Cavs, they find themselves one of the best teams in the East. Eversley, their general manager, has played a huge role in that. 

Eversley was named the Bulls gm in 2020. He is the first person of color to hold the position and the first NBA general manager from the Greater Toronto Area. 

The addition of players like DeMar DeRozan has helped the Bulls become contenders, and who’s responsible? You guessed it, Eversley. 

4.) James Jones, Phoenix Suns

James Jones is the general manager of the (current) best team in the league. The Phoenix Suns have the best record (standing at 44-10) in the league, and throughout the season, they’ve had impressive winning streaks. 

Phoenix made the NBA Finals last season, which was the same season Jones won Executive of the Year

Jones is an NBA veteran that won three championships in his career. His knowledge of the game has transitioned to his current position, and as you can see, it’s paying off for the Suns.

The NBA has its share of black general managers, and while all of them are doing well, these four are doing extraordinary things.

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