John Black wins 2017 Splaver/McHugh Award

LAS VEGAS – John Black, who led the Los Angeles Lakers’ Public Relations Department for more than 27 years, has been named the recipient of the Brian McIntyre Trophy as the 2017 Splaver/McHugh “Tribute to Excellence” Award winner.

The award, presented today during the NBA’s PR Meetings, is given by the NBA Public Relations Directors Association to a current or former member of the NBA public relations family who has demonstrated an outstanding level of performance and service during his or her NBA career.

Black began his NBA career in 1989 as the Lakers’ Public Relations Director after spending more than four years promoting special events for California Sports Inc.  He remained with Los Angeles until February 2017, most recently serving as Vice President of Public Relations.

During his tenure with the Lakers, Black oversaw public relations efforts for five NBA championship teams.  He coordinated communications for several overseas trips by Los Angeles, including the 1991 McDonald’s Championship in Paris and NBA Global Games in Barcelona, London and China.

Black also embraced the role of mentoring the Lakers’ public relations staff.  The list of those who worked under Black includes Golden State Warriors Vice President of Communications Raymond Ridder; Detroit Pistons VP of Public Relations Kevin Grigg; Lakers Media Relations Director Alison Bogli; General Manager Nick Mazzella of the NBA G League’s South Bay Lakers; VP of Public Relations Josh Rupprecht of the NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers; and Senior VP of Communications and Broadcasting Mike Altieri of the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings.

The Splaver/McHugh Award is named in memory of two of the most highly respected public relations executives in NBA history, Marc Splaver and Howie McHugh.  Splaver was the Public Relations Director of the Washington Bullets for five seasons in the 1970s.  McHugh served for more than 40 years as the original Public Relations Director of the Boston Celtics.

The award’s trophy was named in honor of longtime NBA executive Brian McIntyre in 2015.  McIntyre, the 2012 winner of the award, directed the NBA Communications Department and later the Basketball Communications Department from 1981-2010.  In 2011, McIntyre received the John W. Bunn Award, the most prestigious honor presented by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame outside of enshrinement.

Below is a list of previous Splaver/McHugh Award winners and their NBA experience.

2015      Cheri Hanson: Current Portland Trail Blazers Vice President, Team Relations after joining team in 2007 as Vice President of Communications; formerly directed public relations for the Golden State Warriors, Seattle SuperSonics and Milwaukee Bucks; former NBA Assistant Director of Media Relations; daughter of 1998 Splaver/McHugh Award winner John White

2012      Brian McIntyre: Former Chicago Bulls Director of Marketing and Media Information; led communications efforts at the NBA from 1981-2010; named 2011 John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award recipient by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

2010      Matt Dobek: Former Detroit Pistons Public Relations Director and Vice President who worked with the team from 1981-2010

2009      Tommy Sheppard: Former Denver Nuggets Senior Director of Team Services and Player Relations; current Washington Wizards Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations

2008      Terry Lyons: Former NBA Vice President of International Communications who spent 26 years with the league

2007      Dave Coskey: Former Philadelphia 76ers Executive Vice President and VP of Marketing and Communications

2006      Rick Welts: Former Seattle SuperSonics Public Relations Director; former Phoenix Suns President and Chief Executive Officer; former Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and President of NBA Properties; current Golden State Warriors President and COO

2005      Jeff Twiss: Current Boston Celtics Vice President of Media Services/Alumni Relations; recently completed his 36th season with the team

2004      Kevin Sullivan: Former Dallas Mavericks Public Relations Director

2003      Mark Pray: Former Washington Bullets and Miami Heat Public Relations Director

2002      Matt Winick: Former NBA Director of Media Information and Senior Vice President of Scheduling and Game Operations; oversaw NBA game scheduling for more than 30 years

2001      Josh Rosenfeld: Former Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks Public Relations Director and the NBA’s first Director of International Public Relations

2000      Dennis D’Agostino: Current New York Knicks Team Historian and Writer; 30-year tenure with Knicks, including stint as Director of Publications and Broadcast Services

1998      John White: Original Portland Trail Blazers Publicity Director

1997      Harvey Pollack: Legendary Philadelphia 76ers Statistician; named 2002 John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award recipient by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

1996      Tom Ambrose: Founder and first President of the NBA Public Relations Directors Association; former Phoenix Suns Public Relations Director and Senior Vice President, Executive Director of Phoenix Suns Charities, spending 37 years with the team

1995      Jim Foley: Former Houston Rockets Public Relations Director and Radio Analyst who worked for the team for 36 seasons