Report: Cavs’ top business executive to sign with Hornets

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Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Monday that the Charlotte Hornets have hired former Cleveland Cavaliers executive Shelly Cayette-Weston to be their newest president of business operations.

Cayette-Weston became the first Black woman in the history of the NBA to serve as a chief commercial officer for a team. The Cavaliers announced her promotion to executive vice president and chief commercial officer in early 2022.

“It’s mixed feelings because typically you get promoted like you said and you’re like wow, I worked hard and it’s been a 15 year career, it’s exciting, you celebrate with your family and friends and then this one you turn around and there’s national buzz around it even up to global,” Cayette-Weston told 19 News about making history. “I got Billy Jean King who I admire, tweeted about it. I’ve got corporate leaders from major corporations were tweeting about the excitement of it. It just opened my eyes to this bigger than me and so then that’s where the mixed emotions comes in because I don’t think about myself as the first in 2022. You think about firsts and I think about Madame CJ Walker who was the first entrepreneur in the 1800s.”

In 2021, Sports Business Journal went into detail regarding her accomplishments with the Cavaliers. Cayette-Weston supposedly signed Goodyear, which is a company that manufactures tires for cars, motorcycles and planes among other vehicles, to the NBA’s very first practice jersey ad patch.

Additionally, even though the Cavaliers struggled to win games for some time after LeBron James left in 2018, Cayette-Weston allegedly managed to best the team’s sponsorship goals by a whopping 110 percent.

“My motto is that it’s not just what happens on the court,” she said. “We can be consistent in listening, delivering and executing for our partners no matter the win-loss ratio.”

Interestingly, Cayette-Weston was a talented basketball player when she was younger. After a successful stint playing high school basketball in the state of Louisiana, she went on to play at the collegiate level for Tulane University for several seasons.

Her talents also allowed her to play basketball at the professional level, though it wasn’t in the WNBA. Rather, she was a professional basketball player in Europe.

Cayette-Weston is joining a Hornets team that is fresh off a rough 2023-24 regular season. After all, Charlotte ended the season with a record of just 21-61, the third-worst record of any team in the Eastern Conference and ahead of only the Detroit Pistons and Washington Wizards.

The Hornets also lost seven of their final 10 games of the regular season.

But on the bright side, Brandon Miller — who the team drafted with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft — seemingly has a bright future ahead of him. The youngster played in 74 games as a rookie and averaged 17.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists per contest while shooting 44.0 percent from the floor and 37.3 percent from 3-point range.

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Jesse is a sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA. He has worked as a staff writer at SB Nation’s CelticsBlog and The Knicks Wall.