OAKLAND, Calif. – Santa Cruz Warriors President Chris Murphy has been named the 2017 NBA Development League Team Executive of the Year. NBA D-League President Malcolm Turner made the announcement today at the league’s Sales & Marketing Meetings in Indianapolis. The NBA Development League Team Executive of the Year is determined by peer voting and teams are not allowed to vote for themselves.
Under Murphy’s leadership, the Santa Cruz Warriors – the affiliate of the 2015 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors – sold out all 24 regular-season home games at Kaiser Permanente Arena this season. In addition, the team hosted the Oklahoma City Blue at Oakland’s Oracle Arena on Feb. 12 before 17,497 spectators – the third-largest crowd in NBA D-League history – helping spur the league to reach nearly 1.5 million fans this past season (1,469,908).
“We see our D-League team not only as a chance for players and coaches to gain experience and skills, but also a place to develop executive talent,” said Golden State Warriors President and Chief Operating Officer Rick Welts. “Chris has been a valuable part of the Warriors organization for 12 years, and when he accepted the role of President in Santa Cruz two seasons ago, he recognized the value of getting broader general management experience. It’s a great honor for him and a recognition of the Warriors’ operating philosophy and connection between our D-League and NBA teams.”
Murphy, who advises team and league leaders as a member of the NBA D-League Team Leadership Council, helped Santa Cruz increase its corporate sponsorships 15 percent over the previous season. In addition, he demonstrated the team’s commitment to the Santa Cruz area by having the organization participate in 185 community events, including the Santa Cruz Warriors Get Fit program in partnership with Kaiser Permanente that attracted over 6,500 participants in its first year.
Prior to Santa Cruz, Murphy served as Senior Director of Group Sales for Golden State. He joined the organization in June 2005 and spent 10 years with the NBA team honing his expertise on the ticketing side of the business.
The Warriors wrapped up their fifth season in Santa Cruz with a 31-19 (.620) regular-season record, earning their fourth playoff appearance. Santa Cruz helped develop Golden State assignment players Damian Jones, Kevon Looney and Patrick McCaw over the course of the season, while Dennis Clifford was named an NBA D-League All-Star. For games played in March and April, Jones earned Player of the Month honors and Casey Hill was named Coach of the Month, while Phil Pressey and Jabari Brown each earned NBA D-League Performer of the Week honors during the season.
Previous winners of the Team Executive of the Year award include Mike Levy (Canton Charge, 2016), Tim Salier (Austin Spurs, 2015), Jeff Potter (Fort Wayne Mad Ants, 2014), Bill Boyce (Texas Legends, 2013), David Higdon (Bakersfield Jam, 2012), Bert Garcia (Rio Grande Valley Vipers, 2011) and Jon Jennings (Maine Red Claws, 2010).
About the NBA Development League
The NBA Development League is the NBA’s official minor league, preparing players, coaches, officials, trainers, and front-office staff for the NBA while acting as the league’s research and development laboratory. Featuring 22 teams with direct affiliations with NBA franchises for the 2016-17 season, the league offers elite professional basketball at an affordable price in a fun, family-friendly atmosphere. An all-time high 44 percent of all NBA players at the end of the 2016-17 season boasted NBA D-League experience. In fostering the league’s connection to the community, its teams, players and staff promote health and wellness, support local needs and interests, and assist in educational development through NBA D-League Cares programs. NBA D-League games are available on ESPN’s family of networks, Facebook Live and NBA TV.