Jerry Reynolds Interview: NBA Legend -- Retired, Relaxed and Remarkable!
Diana Landau | June 11, 2021
Carl sat down with Jerry Reynolds, a former NBA coach, General Manager, broadcaster and so much more for the Sacramento Kings. Jerry is a local legend and one of the most respected people in the league. It was a truly a highlight in Carl's life to meet and interview him.
Jerry just (un)retired recently at age 77 and now is the star of the Kings Herald Show. Jerry coached and served as the General Manager for the Sacramento Kings (more about that in the podcast), as well as General Manager for the Sacramento Monarchs WNBA team. He was also the director of player personnel, color commentator and lead analyst for broadcasting of the organization. Prior to the NBA, Jerry was a successful coach in the college ranks for various teams. He was selected for induction into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 2019.
So, after 35 years of service to the Kings organization, the media entrance to the Golden 1 Center will be officially known as the “Jerry Reynolds Media Entrance.” There is a plaque and pictures adorning the walls leading into the area and signage outside for the fans to visit. Jerry has a sense of humor and insight about the tumultuous times the Kings had under very different, often changing and under-funded ownership. “Whether you win or lose, it’s a stressful job either way. You need a really good team off the floor to have a really good team on the floor.”
Born in French Lick, Indiana, Jerry is a country boy at heart. He's the second most famous person born there—NBA legend Larry Bird is also a native and he and Jerry are long-time friends. The family was quite poor, with no running water or indoor plumbing. His father eventually got a job with the Texas Eastern Corporation and the family moved into subsidized housing. Jerry grew up with 5 siblings and he remembers his parents laughing a lot—which is probably where his sense of humor began.
Jerry played basketball on a college scholarship and eventually landed a coaching gig after college. The rest is history. Jerry recalls the NBA of simpler times, when there were 10 players, 2 coaches, a trainer and they all flew on commercial airlines. In 1985-1986 he started advance scouting, flying all over the country, and loved it. “I got about 5 years of experience in one year!” he says. “It was the best of times. The league was pure, the game was better, more physical. You kinda had to earn your points.” Career highlights for Jerry include the first game ever played in Sacramento and the Monarch’s World Championship win.
About a year before his (un)retirement, Jerry started thinking about how to ease into it. He went part-time as a transition. Now he continues to do a bit of broadcasting and hosts the podcast. Jerry and his wife Dodie have been married 53 years and live in the Sacramento region. He also enjoys spending time with family and going up to Lake Tahoe. “I’ve been blessed,’ he says. “I got to pick my own end.”
Jerry’s (un)retirement advice:
Do what you want to do when you want to do it!
Be true to yourself. If you're taking on to a job only for money or fame, you're probably gonna fail.
Take your time to explore hobbies, community service and find ways to make yourself valuable.
Find two things a day to do—one activity in the morning and one in the afternoon. That makes for a great, relaxing day!
Diana Landau is the Content Wrangler for Pickleball Media. After 15 years in corporate marketing, in 2012 she pivoted to write and wrangle content for Niche Media's weekly blog. She now manages the “I Used to Be Somebody” weekly blog.