NBA hires Byron Spruell as president of league operations

NEW YORK (AP) The NBA hired Byron Spruell on Thursday as president of league operations.

Spruell, who has spent the last 20 years at Deloitte LLP, will oversee the basketball operations and referee operations departments when he begins his new job on Aug. 1. He will be responsible for the management of rules changes, training and evaluation of referees, discipline and other important NBA operations that were formerly the responsibility of Rod Thorn.

''An innovator with strong strategic vision and a willingness to challenge the status quo, Byron is a terrific addition to the NBA's executive team and will be instrumental in helping to shape the future of our league,'' Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.

Spruell, most recently Deloitte's vice chairman, central region market leader, comes with a football-playing background but called himself a lifelong NBA fan. He praised the league as one ''that embraces new technology and modern management techniques while upholding the critical principles of transparency and integrity.''

Spruell graduated from Notre Dame, where he was an offensive lineman and co-captain of the Fighting Irish football team.

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