The Minnesota Timberwolves had a relatively quiet 2021 offseason, however, they became the talk of the league just days before 2021-22 Media Day as the franchise parted ways with Gerssan Rosas, their President of Basketball Operations.
That promoted Indian-American and currently the Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Sachin Gupta in the 'interim'. It makes him the first top executive of Indian origin to run an NBA franchise.
MORE: Rise and journey of Sachin Gupta
The news, only known to a few, was sudden and caught everyone by surprise, even the franchise's superstar Karl-Anthony Towns.
While he did acknowledge how the change only added to the instability and list of adversities he's had to overcome while with the franchise, he provided great insight with his take on the impact of Gupta's recent achievement.
"I got to know Sachin a little bit throughout the time but first off, it's a huge shout-out to not only him but the Indian community as well for having such a man come to this position," Towns said when asked about how well he got to know Gupta during his time in Minnesota.
"It's an amazing opportunity and also opens up the world, and that his community, his family, his culture to different opportunities that they never thought was possible especially in the NBA. So, he's opened doors for a multitude of kids who never thought they would have a chance to be part of the NBA operations and business. Now, they see themselves and Sachin have a chance to do something amazing and change their family's lives."
"Those kids now see that the impossible is possible. That's the first thing I want to shout-out and congratulate him on being that person."
Gupta, an Indian-American, was born and grew up in Boston, Massachusetts. A graduate from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) with a degree in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, he first joined an NBA franchise was in 2006.
Prior to that, he had worked at ESPN as a software engineer where he was the man behind the code that runs ESPN's Trade Machine, a simulator that needed him to be familiar with the complexities of the CBA.
MORE: How Gupta could get rid of 'interim' tag
"Incredibly excited," Gupta said of his new opportunity as opened the Timberwolves' press conferences on Media Day. "I think the opportunity to run any NBA franchise is very unique, incredible. For me, this in particular is a dream."
"To work with Coach Finch, who is the perfect partner for myself and this ownership group with Glen, Marc and Alex. I'm super excited to be in this market, my wife and I have been here now for a few years and we love it here."
Gupta, who has over 12 years of experience in front offices of multiple NBA franchises (Houston, Philadelphia, Detroit, Minnesota), is reportedly well-received among the Timberwolves' current staff and has a prior relationship, from their days in Houston, with the team's current head coach Chris Finch.
"I think he's extremely ready and one of the most bright strategic minds in the game," Finch said of Gupta. "We think very similarly and love his approach."
Despite his credibility and the support he receives, Gupta does have his work cut out to turn around the Timberwolves franchise, which has recorded 15 losing seasons and just the one playoff appearance (2018) since 2004.
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