Paul M. Banks a.k.a. The Sports Bank, NBC Chicago Street Team Jerry Colangelo is a sports mogul. He’s the former owner of the Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA, Arizona Rattlers of the Arena Football League and the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was instrumental in the relocation of the Winnipeg Jets to become the Phoenix Coyotes, who are now in bankruptcy. (And rumored to be soon owned by Chicago Bulls/White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf.) Colangelo has been named the NBA’s Executive of the Year four times and elected to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
Last month he visited Chicago as the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Foundation held their inaugural “Court of Honor Gala” at Union Station. The Gala celebrated the lifetime achievements and contributions of the Chicago native and University of Illinois graduate. I caught up to Colangelo at the gala where both his speech and his interview answers provided the media numerous insights on life in the NBA and basketball in general
Colangelo was born and raised in one of the roughest suburbs of Chicago. (Yes, I know it may sound a bit oxymoronic to describe a suburb as being socio-economically depressed) He reaffirmed his rags-to-riches story:
“So when I look here and I see so many friends and people I’ve competed with and against, it’s a humbling experience. It’s the only way to describe it and sometimes you pinch yourself and say did this really all happen? I’m still the kid from Chicago Heights. But I guess it did and it helps to put it in proper perspective…To start out where I did and end up where I am now is truly living the American dream,” Colangelo said.
Jerry then answered inquiries about residing at the top of the basketball pantheon and accepting his award in the windy city.
“This is a fraternity, it’s a fraternity of a lot of the people who have the same passion for a game, for a sport in particular, for a city I was asked where would I want this event to take place and I said Chicago, it’s where I’m from these are my roots and it’s a great gathering spot, it’s a very exciting time,” he responded before answering a question about his involvement in the push to get Chicago the next Summer Olympic games which are still up for grabs.
“Well I’m on the 2016 committee and I’m doing everything I can to be of help. I was here with the IOC members, and it would be very easy for people to say well Jerry, you’re prejudice, but I’ve seen Rio de Janiero, I’ve seen Tokyo and Madrid, I’ve seen plans of all the cities and there’d be no better host than Chicago. It’d be a great place to have it and I’m hopeful and prayerful that we get it because it should happen,” Jerry said
For the Full interview click here