Chris Hine '09 | September 19, 2019
For Byron Spruell ’87, ’89MBA, championship rings from two teams he didn’t play for represent defining moments in his athletic and professional life.
The former Notre Dame offensive lineman and co-captain cherishes the 1988 championship ring Lou Holtz gave him, even though he last set foot on the field at Notre Dame Stadium in 1987. The ring was a thank you from Holtz for Spruell’s leadership, for helping lay the foundation that lifted the 1988 team to greatness.
“I don’t wear it, don’t display it,” Spruell says, “but it’s so cherished that I keep it literally in a safe at home.”
He doesn’t even own the second ring. Early in his tenure as the NBA’s president of league operations, he watched his boss, Commissioner Adam Silver, present rings to the 2015-16 NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers, Spruell’s hometown team.
“It was surreal,” he says of that night in Cleveland in October 2016. “It validated to me this is about purpose, and this is the right place to be at the right time.”
Just how does someone go from the gridiron at Notre Dame to becoming a Swiss Army knife for the NBA, overseeing officiating, rules enforcement, fines and suspensions?
Read more here.