Rod Thorn


Rod Thorn

Rodney King "Rod" Thorn (born May 23, 1941, in Princeton, West Virginia) is the president and general manager of the NBA's New Jersey Nets.

A highly-regarded high school athlete in both basketball and baseball, Thorn attended West Virginia University, where he was an All-American guard in basketball, as well as playing three seasons on the WVU baseball team.

In the 1963 NBA Draft, Thorn was the second player selected overall, drafted by the Baltimore Bullets. He was named to the NBA All-Rookie Team, but was traded by the Bullets following his first season. After brief stints with Detroit and St. Louis, he concluded his career as a player with the Seattle SuperSonics (1967-71).

After retiring, Thorn stayed with the SuperSonics as assistant coach and graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in political science.

In 1973, former teammate Kevin Loughery hired Thorn as assistant coach of the New York Nets of the American Basketball Association. The Nets won the 1974 ABA championship, led by Julius Erving.

Thorn later became head coach of another ABA team, the Spirits of St. Louis in 1975, but after a 20-27 start he was fired in the middle of the season in December 1975 and replaced by Joe Mullaney for the remainder of the season.

In 1978, Thorn became the general manager of the Chicago Bulls and was instrumental in the team's selection of Michael Jordan in the 1984 draft. He also selected track star Carl Lewis much later in the same draft, mostly for publicity purposes; Lewis would never play for the Bulls. Thorn served briefly as interim head coach of the Bulls in 1981-82.

From 1986 to 2000 Thorn was the NBA's Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations.

Thorn rejoined the Nets organization on June 2, 2000, and he was named the NBA Executive of the Year in 2002 after the Nets advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history.


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