Editor’s Note: ESPN will exclusively televise the 2017 NBA Draft presented by State Farm tonight at 7 p.m. ET from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
It’s NBA Draft day – and that means Bruce Bernstein is preparing to stage produce the event alongside NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. Bernstein, an ESPN NBA coordinating producer and 30-plus year ESPN veteran, has played a pivotal role in ESPN’s NBA Draft presentation since 2003, the first year ESPN televised the event.
However, Bernstein’s impact on ESPN’s NBA coverage goes far beyond the NBA Draft. From NBA All-Star weekends and NBA Playoffs to ESPN NBA studio programming and Summer League, he’s had a steady hand in virtually all of ESPN’s NBA production for decades.
Another major highlight in Bernstein’s ESPN journey is the mark he’s made on popular ESPN personality Cassidy Hubbarth.
Hubbarth, a multi-platform ESPN NBA commentator, has worked closely with Bernstein over the years and considers him a mentor.
Hubbarth and Bernstein are two of ESPN’s most passionate NBA fans, who live and breathe the sport year-round. It’s no wonder that Hubbarth has selected Bernstein as her “Team Player.”
What makes Bruce successful in his role?
Bruce is successful because, first and foremost, he is one of the most genuine and kind people I’ve ever known. He is the type of person you want to work for, work with and make proud. It’s his relationships, bonds, and friendships that he has built through the countless shows, events and games he’s worked on that have added incredible depth to the 30 plus years he’s been at ESPN. And, that’s just on top of the fact that he is an exceptionally creative, thoughtful and hardworking producer.
How does Bruce help you do your job to the best of your ability?
Bruce helps me do my job to the best of my ability because he was the person who gave me the opportunity to do the job I feel I’m best at doing. He took a chance on me when he asked me to host NBA Tonight, and since that moment his support has helped solidify my growth at ESPN and helped me find my voice in a sport I have loved my whole life. He not only allowed me to explore my creativity as a host, but he pushed me to find ownership in our NBA coverage.
Could you describe a specific instance when Bruce went above and beyond to help you?
There are endless ways that Bruce has gone above and beyond for me. Above and beyond is pretty much how Bruce operates. One instance that comes to mind is after my first year on NBA Tonight, Bruce invited me to shadow him during the NBA Draft. Bruce worked with [former NBA Commissioner] David Stern and now [current Commissioner] Adam Silver during the NBA Draft, handling the execution of the draft pick announcements. Bruce not only made sure I got proper introductions with several important people in the league, including Commissioner Silver, but helped me develop relationships of my own. That night laid an invaluable foundation for me as I continue to grow my role in our NBA coverage. I owe so much to Bruce, and I am forever grateful for his friendship and belief in me.