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Professional Athletes in Business: NBA Hall of Famer David Robinson Says Teamwork is Recipe for Success

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Regarded as one of the best basketball players of all time, David Robinson spent his entire 14 year NBA career as a member fo the San Antonio Spurs. During that time he won the NBA Championship twice, named the league’s Most Valuable Player, selected to the All-Star game ten times, and was named the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the year in 2003. Robinson played for Team USA in 1998, 1992, and 1996 Olympics and won the Gold medal twice. He was inducted to the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.

Perhaps even more impressive are his efforts in philanthropy and business which have seen similar success to those on the court. In 2007, Robinson and his business partner Daniel Bassichis established the Admiral Capital Group. Their mission was to combine their knowledge of private equity and “desire to make a positive social impact” in an effort to “create a long-term sustainable business.”

Robinson’s approach to business is the same strategy he utilized during his Hall of Fame basketball career and credits his success to a fundamental skillset all athletes learn at a young age; teamwork. “Dan was a rising star at Goldman, you know, one of the best companies in the world. I'm never going to be on the same level as him from a real estate standpoint from a financial standpoint. But together as a team, I can get him the ball where he can be most successful. And we built an amazing team at Admiral.”

Bassichis shares that same teamwork mentality and the value of maximizing his partner’s strength: “David served in the military. He's been opening schools. He’s, been giving back to the community, has a pristine reputation and that's transferred to our business. And that's incredibly valuable when you're raising money and building trust and building a business around integrity.”

Both Robinson and Bassichis have brought on several current and former professional athletes as investors and partners. Two time Super Bowl winner turned Goldman Sachs consultant Justin Tuck is among them, so is Robinson’s former Spurs teammate Tony Parker, MLB All-Star Torii Hunter, and NFL offensive lineman Kelvin Beachum.

When it comes to professional athletes as business partners, Bassichis admits they bring an extra layer of intensity. “They’re incredibly engaged. They want to learn and they want to work with us….They also bring a work ethic. So you look at some of the guys and the way they train on the field, and you look at Kelvin and Justin and some of these guys and they are just machines off the field.”

Both Robinson and Bassichis credit teamwork and building the right team, putting together the proper personnel isn’t just a successful formula for sports, it’s a recipe for success in business too.

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