Jerry Colangelo Warns NBA Owners, Don't Just Focus On Bottom Line

Former Phoenix Suns owner (and GM, scout and coach) Jerry Colangelo went on ESPN's Colin Cowherd Show Tuesday and talked about the NBA lockout. Colangelo had words of wisdom to share with David Stern and the current NBA owners about the lockout and negotiations.

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We've come to know Jerry for all the great work he's done in his later years but we shouldn't forget how unique he was as an NBA owner.

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Jerry started in the NBA with humble beginnings and joined the Suns in 1968 as the franchise's first General Manager. He had worked as a scout and assistant coach before that and didn't join the ranks of the "owners" until 1987 when he put together a group to buy the team that at the time was seriously damaged goods thanks to a huge drug scandal.

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Colangelo didn't make his money in banking or software before coming to the league. He represents a much different breed of owner than the guy he sold the team to in 2004 and he has a message for the current crop of owners.

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"The sanctity of the game meant more to me than the bottom line," Colangelo said as a guy who became involved with the game for reasons that had little to do with money.

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"If you focus just on the bottom line and not on the big picture, you tend to make decisions that affect how you operate. There has to be a balancing act at all times."

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Colangelo was in the room during the negotiations the last time the NBA suffered a work stoppage. He remains confident the current deal will get done but has more advice for those working on an agreement.

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"(You have to) set aside personal agendas and focus on the whole and the league and what's in (its) best interest. There's so much involved here with people being affected that it's in everyone's best interest that something happen and I'll remain optimistic that something positive happens." 

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Let's just hope the new owners are willing to listen to a guy who's been there and done that.

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Listen to the entire interview here.

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