Annenberg hosts Zoom Q&A with NBA Chief Human Resources Officer Eric Hutcherson

first_imgThe talk was part of Annenberg’s newly launched program Annenberg Intelligence, a series of Zoom conversations with industry leaders and alumni in order to make up for the spring semester’s canceled on-campus events and job recruiting opportunities. Hutcherson discussed the NBA’s own initiative to continue its community outreach through NBA Together, a campaign currently pushing medical information and pandemic relief efforts.  “Home right now is taking precedence,” Hutcherson said. “So it’s really important for employers, ourselves, in particular, to remember that we infiltrated the home life, and so trying to figure out how to take care of school and take care of life and take care of family and deal with illness and then at the same be productive at work has been a real challenge.” Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism invited more than 140 students to participate in a Zoom Q&A with the head of the NBA human resources department Eric Hutcherson Friday. The Q&A was led by Annenberg Dean Willow Bay and covered the league’s strategy during the coronavirus crisis and the virus’ implications on professional basketball.  The NBA was the first professional league to suspend the remainder of its season March 11 after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus. Hutcherson outlined HR’s role in maintaining inclusivity and workspace health when the workplace itself is scattered across homes and geographies.  Despite the looming economic consequences of the pandemic, Hutcherson projected confidence and a willingness to adapt to the circumstances that the NBA is facing.  The task forces span different scenarios and continents, with one planning the logistics of a remaining 2020 season and one covering a 2021 comeback. Others focus on different international markets and how to operate under varying government policies regarding social distancing and economic reopening. The NBA has amped up its communication and created new task forces in light of its continued operations and planning for hypothetical outcomes of the coronavirus crisis. Hutcherson provides town halls and panels for employees to tune into that cover topics such as the disparate impact of the coronavirus on communities of color.  Hutcherson also emphasized how uncertainty still persists as the decider of future plans with the facts about the pandemic changing every day. The coronavirus upended not only its game operations but the transition of the NBA’s next generation of draftees. With the NCAA Tournament canceled, many college players lost the chance to improve their stock value to professional teams, and with the G-League’s suspension, the players’ journey to an NBA lineup may be delayed. “The way we’re looking at [it] is in times of crisis, you get access to talent that you otherwise wouldn’t get access to,” Hutcherson said. “And so we’re using that as an opportunity hopefully to continue to grow.”last_img read more