A Female Revolution in the Front Office
Women the world over are beginning to get the management positions that they have worked so hard for and nowhere is this more apparent than in the front offices of NBA franchises. Specifically, there is one woman who seems poised, more than anyone, to become the first female GM in NBA history—Becky Bonner. Bonner currently works for the Orlando Magic as their Director of Player Development and Quality Control, but she really does so much more.
According to Bleacher Report, her responsibilities are so widespread that the team is unofficially grooming her to be the first female GM in league history. It’s obviously unprecedented and would be a huge step forward for women in sports management. But I don’t want to focus on gender politics. I’d rather focus on why she’s so damn good.
Bonner only started in June 2017 with the Magic, but she’s no lightweight. She was the Director of International Basketball Operations for the NBA for over six years leading up to her appointment with the Magic, and she was Director of Basketball Operations for over four years before that with the University of Louisville. Simply put, this woman is the real deal.
Already with the Magic, she’s been involved in player scouting and draft day decisions. In the coming weeks and months, she’ll be a big voice in the Magic’s trade-deadline discussions, offering input on free agents and players that could be acquired. She’s obviously highly regarded and her opinion is respected within the Orlando organization.
But she’s not the only woman who’s starting to get her foot in the door in NBA management. There are several women, such as Michelle Leftwich, who’s a salary cap guru and now part of the Atlanta Hawks organization, or Ariana Andonian, the league’s only female scout, who currently works for the Houston Rockets. And let’s not forget about WNBA legend Becky Hammon, whose overwhelming basketball IQ propelled her to become the first female assistant coach in league history when she started doing so for the San Antonio Spurs. And knowing how head coach Gregg Popovich works, she’ll be groomed into head coach material and will be hired in that capacity in the coming years.
Again, this isn’t a gender politics article. But Becky Bonner knows her stuff. And soon, she’ll be showing it when her business card reads “General Manger for the Orlando Magic.”