November 12, 2015 by
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The NBA is full of talented athletes, big personalities, and some amazing behind the scenes staff that help bring it all together on the court. Al Whitley, the Equipment Manager for the Dallas Mavericks, dives into what it’s like to work with those professional basketball players and how that motivates him to be the best he can in his role.
What is your favorite part about working for the Dallas Mavericks?
Being a part of the action, locker room camaraderie and thrill of working toward a common goal ---> WINNING!
What does an Equipment Manager do?
Everything from Managing our facility, to practice and game preparation, ordering/managing apparel and inventory for players and staff. Jersey design and responsibility for player shoes are part of the job too. Also, hosting the visiting team and of course, laundry... little bit of everything.
How did your career path lead you to this position?
My passion for basketball and dream of playing in the NBA… When Playing wasn’t a reality I had to find another way.
What is the best locker room prank that you’ve seen?
Going out for a big team dinner and surprising the rookie with the bill.
Who is the messiest guy in the locker room?
Dirk Nowitzki’s nickname is “Dirty”. Self explanatory!
What are the most interesting requests you get from the players?
From sock and t-shirts to coffees with 10 sugars and buying anniversary gifts. The RANGE is WIDE!
What is it like to work with professional athletes on a daily basis?
It brings out the best in me. To see these guys working so hard day in and day out, it holds me accountable and motivates me to be the best at what I do.