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Former Phoenix Suns President and CEO Rick Welts Joins Warriors

A little over two weeks after resigning from the Suns, in a move that Rick Welts said was not "one of those departures to see greener pastures", Welts has assumed the job of President and COO of the Golden State Warriors, according to a press release on

Welts suggested at the time of his resignation from the Suns that he wanted to dedicate more time to his personal life, to "get my personal and professional lives better aligned," as he said then. His partner lives in Sacramento and the Warriors are based in Oakland, 80 miles away.

Was his plan to get closer to his new family (his partner has shared custody of children)? To leave the Suns organization? Welts had kind words for Robert Sarver and the Suns after his departure, but something doesn't seem right here. The more conspiratorial-minded among us might read into this quote from Welts, from the press release:

"I’ve been most impressed with Joe Lacob and Peter Guber’s vision and desire to do something great. Not good, but great."

Is there an implication there that Sarver didn't have that same vision and desire? But then again, it doesn't really matter, does it? What's done is done and, for whatever reason, Rick Welts is now President and COO of the Warriors and the Suns have yet to name his replacement in Phoenix.

Update 9/26/11 8:10PM PDT

Paul Coro's tweet:

Paul Coro Rick Welts said that Robert Sarver called Warriors CEO Joe Lacob to recommend him for the prez/COO job. It came together in a week.

Update II 9/27/11 12:33PM PDT

If you're interested in the view from Warrior-land, here's the comment thread over at Golden State of Mind.

And, here's a column by CSNBayarea's Ray Ratto. One passage I found interesting from it:

All I know is this: he was the Suns’ guy for nine years before his sexuality was an issue, in a state not famous for its openmindedness on the subject. In that time, he did fine by all analyses.
For what it's worth, the sense I get overall among the locals is that it's not about the Suns organization being a sinking ship, or Sarver being impossible to work for, but rather that the Bay Area is a much more welcoming place for homosexuals to live than Phoenix, which seems like a fairly obvious truth.

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