Russ Granik, former Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer of the National Basketball Association, has been Vice Chairman of Galatioto Sports Partners since October 2006. He was a guiding force in helping to establish the National Basketball Association as the most popular sports league in the world. Mr. Granik also represented the league in a wide range of successful projects, including collective bargaining agreements, television contracts, and the formation of the Dream Team, which launched NBA players onto the international stage starting with the 1992 Olympics. In September 2013, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Mr. Granik joined the NBA in 1976 as a staff attorney. He became Assistant General Counsel in 1978 and General Counsel in 1980. When David J. Stern was named NBA Commissioner in 1984, he named Granik to succeed him as Executive Vice President. In February 1990, Mr. Granik was elected Deputy Commissioner by the NBA Board of Governors.
Mr. Granik participated in every major negotiation on behalf of the NBA from 1980 to 2006, including the television contracts with NBC, Turner Broadcasting and ESPN. He was also the chief negotiator for the league during collective bargaining that resulted in agreements with the National Basketball Players Association in 1988, 1995, 1999 and 2005.
Mr. Granik played a major role in the NBA’s international expansion. From 1996–2000, he served as the President of USA Basketball, the United States’ national governing body for international basketball competition. From 1989–96, he was a Vice President of USA Basketball and, in that role, was instrumental in working out the details of the participation of NBA players in the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympics. In November 2005, Mr. Granik received USA Basketball’s Edward S. Steitz Award, which recognizes an individual for his outstanding contributions to international basketball.
Mr. Granik also served two terms as Chairman of the Board of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, where he has been a Trustee since 1984.
In 2011, Mr. Granik served as ESPN’s Labor Analyst, providing on-air commentary on collective bargaining issues during the National Basketball Association and National Football League work stoppages.
Mr. Granik graduated magna cum laude in 1969 from Dartmouth College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1973. He was associated with the law firm of Breed, Abbott & Morgan in New York before joining the NBA.