Rod Thorn

In a career that spanned more than 50 years, Rod Thorn excelled as both a player and as a front office executive where he became one of the game’s most influential figures. Thorn was a consensus Second Team All-America at West Virginia before playing professionally for eight seasons in the NBA. After retiring from playing, Thorn took the skills he learned on the court and applied those lessons to his future roles as coach, general manager, and league executive. Thorn’s coaching tenure included stops in Seattle, New York, St. Louis, Chicago, and New Jersey before transitioning to front office positions. In 1978, Thorn was named general manager of the Chicago Bulls and in 1984, he drafted the great Michael Jordan with the third overall pick. The 2002 NBA Executive of the Year spent eight seasons with the New Jersey Nets taking the franchise to back-to-back Finals appearances in 2002 and 2003. His years heading up basketball operations in the league office enhanced and enriched the game at every turn.