By Steve Vivona
On November 23 former New Jersey Senator and Basketball
Hall-of-Famer Bill Bradley visited St. John’s to impart some wisdom
learned both on the basketball court and the floor of the Senate to
students in the University’s Sport Management Program. Sen. Bradley
was invited by his former teammate from the New York Knicks Dr.
Dick Barnett, now a Professor of Sport Management at St.
Senator Bradley recalled the trials for the 1964 Olympic
basketball team were held at St. John’s as well as several
practices during his rookie season with the Knicks. “So I have fond
memories of the pain I felt here at St. John’s,” he quipped.
“We’re living in a world of incredible change,” he observed.
“Like a good team we have to be able to deal with it in an
effective way.” Senator Bradley discussed forces that he believed
were shaping today’s world as well as the business of sports
management, most notably globalization and technology.
“The business of sports management is now global. It’s not
simply local,” he observed, adding that 25% of current NBA players
were from foreign countries. “When you’re looking for players you
look all over the world.” He added that the media has also
reinforced this idea, noting that on a political trip Russia
several years ago students asked him if he knew Michael Jordan.
“Unless you have a global view of the business of sports
management you’re not going to be as good as you can possibly be,”
Senator Bradley stressed.
Technology is another major force shaping the world of
sports management, Senator Bradley told his audience. “Technology
makes globalization happen faster. It makes you better. It enables
you to do more things in a shorter period of time with less
He added that technology has become a much more pervasive
influence in today’s sports world than when he was a player.
Companies offer a battery of physical and psychological tests
designed to gauge how effective a player will be at a certain
position or whether he/she can handle the demands of professional
“The business of sports today has changed dramatically. There
were no courses in Sport Management when I was in college,” Senator
Bradley stressed. “It’s become a global business driven by
technology. But at its core it is what it always has been. That is
making a judgment about another person’s character and personal
He added that gauging personal qualities is essential for
building teams with a good moral character. “You have to ask
yourself, ‘Does this person have discipline and resilience? How
well will this person bounce back from adversity? Can this person
imagine doing something differently?’”
Following his presentation Senator Bradley took questions from
the audience and was presented with a special plaque from Dean
Kathleen MacDonald of the College of Professional Studies as well
as a Red Storm jersey bearing his number from his playing days with
Photo Gallery from the forum. >