Black Enterprise Golf and Tennis Challenge: One-on-One with NBA Legend Cedric Maxwell

'In networking situations sometimes it is more important to listen to people instead of pushing your own agenda'

(Image: File)

With the upcoming Black Enterprise Golf and Tennis Challenge taking place in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Aug. 28-31, who better to speak to about the 3-on-3 basketball tournament than the NBA legend Cedric Maxwell.

Maxwell has been involved with the event for a number of years as an announcer/color commentator. The 1981 NBA Finals MVP for the Boston Celtics also does play-by-play for CBS Radio covering his old team. You may be familiar with his ex-teammates, The original Big Three: Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish, but most experts say that without the skills of Maxwell, the titles won by that Celtics team might not have been won.

BlackEnterprise.com spoke with the legendary player about participating in the Black Enterprise Golf and Tennis Challenge.

BlackEnterprise.com: I know that you’ve been doing play by play for the 3-on-3 basketball tournament for some time now, how long have you been doing it and what enjoyment do you get out of it?

Cedric Maxwell: It has been 20 years now. I like it because I love entertaining people. It gives me a chance to stay in the game, in a way, it is like living vicariously through the players.

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How did you initially become involve with the Black Enterprise Golf and Tennis Challenge?

It was a long time ago. I was invited by a group, MCI, who I had met through a series of basketball clinics in Europe. I cannot get enough, have to come back each year.

Being a two-time NBA Finals champion and NBA Finals MVP, what advice would you give anyone who is participating in the 3-on-3?

Just have fun, this is not the NBA Finals! Have fun and be safe. Remember your age!

You do radio color commentary for the Boston Celtics for CBS Radio, although you’ve been around basketball all your life, how do you prepare to cover the games and stay on top of your game?

I watch countless games and study game notes. I try to stay in contact with other broadcasters and team coaches to make sure I have the most well-rounded view possible.

What’s the best part of participating at the BE Golf and Tennis Challenge?

Making everlasting friendships both corporately and personally.

You’re very personable and people are drawn to you, why is this?

I am friendly and outgoing. I try to keep people smiling, why wouldn’t you want to be around someone like that? I surround myself with good people to keep myself smiling as well.

Based on your personality and philosophy on dealing with people, how do you incorporate this mindset into networking opportunities?

I always keep an open mind and friendly face. You have to keep your ears open, always listening. You get what you give in these situations, if you go in open and positive you will have a better experience.

What advice would you give people, in terms of how to handle themselves, when it comes to attending events like this one and also venture out to networking events for the purposes of obtaining business relationships?

I have a broadcast partner, Mike Gorman, his father always said, “Never miss an opportunity to say nothing.” In networking situations sometimes it is more important to listen to people instead of pushing your own agenda.

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