iNDICA NEWS BUREAU-
In a sudden turn of events, the NBA team Minnesota Timberwolves has named an Indian American as their new VP of Basketball Operations.
Sachin Gupta, who is currently the Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations replaced Gersson Rosas on Wednesday, September 22.
Gupta had been second in command in the Timberwolves’ front office to Rosas since Rosas was hired in May of 2019.
As of now Gupta is named as an interim, as per a team announcement. Although interim, the promotion made Gupta the first NBA executive of Indian descent.
Gupta is well-received by all within the staff and will be given a chance in the No. 1 role as the team begins their search to replace Rosas.
Gupta was born to parents Ram and Meetu Gupta and grew up in Boston, Massachusetts.
Early on, he followed a very traditional path, just as nearly every Indian-origin in the United States. He studied to become an engineer and went to MIT.
He took a degree in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from MIT and later went on to do his MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. After which he joined as a software engineer at ESPN.
In 2006, Gupta developed the NBA Trade Machine for the ESPN website, which allows users to go through trade scenarios, and have them accepted or rejected based on salary cap, contract, luxury tax and other CBA restrictions.
Gupta is lauded for his expertise in analytics and the NBA collective bargaining agreement, which he put to use in creating ESPN’s Trade Machine. That led to opportunities in team front offices, and now he’ll get his first chance to be the lead decision-maker with the Timberwolves.
Although basketball seems to be a popular sport among Indian Americans, there are very few who have made it to the top echelons. The most well-known Indian American face in the NBA circuit is Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé.
In September 2020, Sonia Raman made history with her appointment as assistant coach of the Memphis Grizzlies, becoming the first Indian American woman to be appointed assistant coach of an NBA team.
Last December, Suyash Mehta became the first Indian American to officiate as a referee in the NBA league. Mehta, who has been working with the NBA for the past five years, was named to the officiating staff for the 2020-21 season