When Bryson Graham started his professional NBA career 12 years ago, he was just an intern. The New Orleans basketball team was still called the Hornets. But since then, Graham has made a steady rise in the Pelicans front office, taking on more responsibility and learning from the various colleagues he’s had along the way.
Now, as assistant general manager, he’s a key person in a front office led by executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin and general manager Trajan Langdon, particularly when it comes to the draft, where the Pelicans have found gems in recent years like Herb Jones.
“I think he’s really good,” an NBA executive said. “He’s smart, he works hard and he knows his shit. (He) will be managing director in the next five years.
Graham took the time to discuss his career as part of The Athletic’s 40 under 40 series.
You started out as a trainee with the Pelicans, didn’t you? What was it like to spend your entire career with one organization and just work your way up?
Dude, that’s been awesome. I never thought I would start my 12th season with just one organization. The Pelicans — back then, the Hornets when I first got the job — but being here in New Orleans. Obviously, I have a family now. I’ve seen so many changes, for good, and I’ve never experienced anything else. I know a lot of people bounced back but I got lucky man. I was really lucky to be in the same place.