The It's Pretty OK MBA Draft
It was never supposed to be like this.
We were inviting Kevin to come on the podcast and talk about which NBA player we would start a franchise around, and Pierce accidentally sent a text about who we'd start an MBA franchise with. When Kevin immediately replied that he'd be taking Elon Musk, we knew it was time to stretch this out way too far. Each of us picked a starting five from the world of business.
Here goes nothing.
Kevin: Elon Musk
This was the 1997 NBA Draft, and I got Tim Duncan.
Musk has created the something that EVERYONE wants with the Tesla, and has so much money that he said “Fuck it, let’s use it get to Mars!” He goes for toughest problems, not for a bigger wallet, because that’s just what he likes to do. How could you not pick him #1?
Sean: Jack Welch
Okay, so I'm counting on coaxing Welch out of retirement here. But he's my LeBron; prodigious talent, an incredible body of work at GE, and a coach on the floor.
Pierce: Paul Allen
My team is clearly the strongest because of its global as well as stylistic diversity. For starters, you've got two technology guys who don't necessarily fit the Silicon Valley mold. Allen, the sports franchise owning Microsoft owner who has diversified in a way his fellow founders haven't, will be the quiet leader my team needs. Late in the game, he will play a point forward position and lead us to victory.
Pierce: Larry Ellison
Ellison, on the other hand, has Russell Westbrook potential. He is eccentric but driven, and will seek his vengeance every damn night. I won't need to tell him to keep shooting open shots.
Sean: Warren Buffett
I feel like I've gotten great value here getting the best investor on the planet in the second round. We're gonna need to get a few more good years out of him, but another cerebral player who handles the spotlight without being consumed by it.
Kevin: Bill Gates
Musk is the centerpiece, but Gates and my next pick are the more reserved brainiacs that can make things happen. There is concern that Gates might not have the competitive drive anymore, but no one else has the pedigree of both technological prowess and business savvy that he does.
Kevin: Sergey Brin
Larry Page seems to get more press than Brin, but with Musk drawing headlines for me Brin fits nicely into my rotation. The dude is brilliant and can implement Musk’s visions.
Sean: Larry Page
Fine by me; I'll take Page. It took me until Round 3 to get into the tech world, but I feel like I really solidified my financial base first and gave Larry a great foundation to dream on.
Pierce: Richard Branson
Ellison's fellow backcourt bandit is none other than the pioneer, Richard Branson. I have legitimate concerns that Branson may throw passes no one else sees, but that vision is exactly why I took him with my third round pick. He will master any situation.
Pierce: Carlos Slim
At the four, Carlos Slim is my Moses Malone. Maybe he doesn't have the greatest size or the best hops, but turn around and he makes up 40% of the Mexican stock exchange and 6% of the country's GDP. I mean, good Lord, he's a monster.
Sean: Jeff Bezos
I love the value I've gotten at every pick in this draft. Bezos is one of the most innovative guys in the game, and I can appreciate what he's doing at the Washington Post—maintaining one of our great journalistic institutions. May It's Pretty OK one day be supported by a generous billionaire as well!
Kevin: Tim Cook
Tim Cook gets little credit, but he was with Jobs every step of the way in making Apple the richest technology company on the planet. You can’t be a bad businessman and make that happen. He is much less of an ass than Jobs was and even offered to donate a portion of his liver to the man overshadowing him!
Kevin: Mark Cuban
One might criticize my heavy selection of Silicon Valley hotshots, but that doesn’t concern me. These guys are facing the stiffest competition out there and still coming out on top. My guys will have the best chemistry in the league. It isn’t like drafting 4 centers a la the 76ers. For example, Brin would love to use his Google research to accelerate the driverless Tesla.
I’ve put together an unstoppable 5-man unit.
Oh, and every team needs a “heat-check” guy: need I say more about Cuban?
Sean: Carlos Brito
I'm getting the international flavor with my last pick. Brito, who runs InBev, claims to have no hobbies besides a 30-minute treadmill workout each day. That's not really a hobby, but I love the single-minded drive. Brito is going to be one of those players that his teammates might kind of hate, but deep down, they know he's making them better on the court.
Pierce: Jack Ma
Finally, Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, is my silent stretch 5. Hailing from China, he has made a name for himself by leading one of the more curious companies out of the mainland. Not a great deal of tape on Ma, but my scouting indicates that he can score from anywhere on the floor and his touch is peerless. He, like the rest of my team, is used to handling adversity. The international flair cannot be overrated here.
-Pierce Bishop, Sean McGoey, and Kevin Linger