Wayne R. Embry
While Wayne Embry enjoyed a solid playing career, his overall impact on basketball stems from both his on-court and off-court activities. Embry played eleven professional seasons with the Cincinnati Royals, Boston Celtics, and Milwaukee Bucks and won an NBA championship with the Celtics in 1968. In 1971, Embry was named Milwaukee's General Manager, becoming the first African-American GM in the NBA. From 1985 to 1992, he was vice president and general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and became the NBA's first African-American team president with the Cavaliers in 1994. In Cleveland's first sixteen years, the Cavs averaged 31 wins and four playoff appearances, but under Embry's guidance the next twelve years averaged 45 wins and had nine playoff appearances. The Sporting News named him NBA Executive of the Year in 1992 and 1998.