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How to Become a General Manager in the NBA

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Becoming the general manager (GM) of a National basketball Association team is the ultimate dream for some and for good reason. You get to run a professional sports team, wheel and deal players as you see fit and earn a good salary —far better than fantasy basketball on the Internet. However, it is becoming an NBA general manager that is very much is a fantasy. With only 30 jobs available in the world — one per team — this is an exceedingly limited career field with slim chances of success.

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Play in the National Basketball Association. A player can develop many connections and learn the game well enough to serve him well as a general manager.

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Obtain an advanced degree. Many GMs have parlayed degrees in law or business into into an NBA management career. That background has served them well when dealing with player contracts, collective bargaining issues and more.

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Learn the collective bargaining agreement. This is essential when planning budgets and contract negotiations.

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Learn the game. Gain deep understanding of the components necessary for success and the complementary roles that players must play.

Work hard and know your field. Rich Chofirst worked for the Seattle Supersonics (now the Oklahoma City Thunder) as an intern and worked his way up. Eventually he became general manager of the Portland Trailblazers, beating out experienced GMs for the position.

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Learn how to scout players. A general manager's ability to find good talent ensures a long and successful career.


It is absolutely essential to understand and have an interest in basketball. Knowledge of the collective bargaining agreement is a must.