In a ballroom at the Wynn hotel and casino in Las Vegas two weeks ago, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, team owners and high-ranking league executives attended a Board of Governors meeting to discuss league issues.
They voted on changes to Hack-A-Shaq, introduced new minority owners and went over mundane but necessary topics. League officials also addressed the controversial anti-LGBT law in North Carolina that jeopardized the 2017 NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte.
In a poignant address, Golden State Warriors president and chief operating officer Rick Welts, 63, who is openly gay, explained his meaningful and lifelong affiliation with the NBA and told league owners he didn’t feel comfortable attending the All-Star Game in Charlotte if the law remained as is.
His message resonated with the nearly 70 people in the ballroom, and this is the story of how Welts impacted but didn’t dictate the NBA’s decision to move the game to another state.
Three people who were in the room gave USA TODAY Sports identical accounts of Welts’ heartfelt and unscripted address and provided other details of…