From the days of the “Bad Boys” Pistons to the rise of player empowerment, the business of the NBA has grown into a cultural phenomenon. Three generations of basketball stars – Naismith Basketball Hall of Faner Isiah Thomas, 2x NBA champion and Finals MVP Kevin Durant, and 2x NBA All-Star and 2016 Rookie of the Year Karl-Anthony Towns – discuss the evolution of the game with Jay Williams, including how the league and its players are marketing themselves now in a way that prepares them for the future.
Isiah Thomas talks about what his Detroit Pistons team meant to the league and what they could have done from a marketing perspective if the “Bad Boys” lived in the age of social media. He also discusses how his entrepreneurial spirit set the stage for his post-retirement career. Kevin Durant outlines how athletes have become true creators outside of their field of play in recent years and how much it’s changed the culture of sports itself. Karl-Anthony Towns talks about how players share information and what he’s learned from older players as he’s come up in the league. The trio also discuss how communication between fans and players has changed for the better and sometimes for worse: Does social media ultimately provide a better platform for direct communication, or does it keep fans from living in the moment and interacting in person when the opportunity arises?
Watch all of Season 2 of The Boardroom now streaming on ESPN+. All five episodes, including Transforming Women’s Sports, League Fashion, Evolution of the Wide Receiver, The NBA Past Present and Future, and Rap or Go to the League, are available now in addition to six episodes of Season 1, a Free Agency special episode with Kevin Durant and Stephen A Smith, and a live episode with Jaylen Brown.
From the days of the “Bad Boys” Pistons to the rise of player empowerment, the business of the NBA has grown into a cultural phenomenon. Isiah Thomas, Karl-Anthony Towns and Durant discuss the evolution of the game with Jay Williams and address how the league and its players are marketing themselves for the future.