An NBA Star’s Transition from Hardwood to Business

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Feb. 6 (Bloomberg) –- On today’s “Paybook,” three-time NBA champion Bill Cartwright discusses Cartwright Downes and the business of background checks. He speaks with Pimm Fox on Bloomberg Television's "Taking Stock." (Source: Bloomberg)

This is "taking stock" on bloomberg.

I'm pimm fox.

We're going to go to su keenan for the headlines.

General motors just reported fourth-quarter profit that missed analyst estimates.

Fourth-quarter profits fell to one point zero $4 billion.

-- just over $1 billion.

Fox will be increasing its stakes in the yes network to about 80% and will be getting results from new york area sports when the deal closes.

And earnings are out with a surprise in january with the month rising one percent for cap.

-- gap.

Shares -- earnings beat analyst estimates.

Click the apollo theater in harlem, new york is celebrating its 80th birthday.

The legendary peter has hosted such megastars as ray charles and james brown.

Joining me here is jonelle.

The theater itself is owned by new york state, the people of new york state, but it is managed and organized and kept alive by a foundation.

Tell us more about it.

But it is a not-for-profit and has been since 1991. a lot of people don't know that because it is 80 years old and the brand is so recognized around the year -- around the world, actually.

The apollo theater foundation and the foundations charged with the responsibility with preserving the theater and running the theater.

It has been since 1991. but really, i think it has been in just the last 10 years that we have really focused on the not-for-profit program, if you will, and put in play initiatives that will really ensure that it continues to be the iconic cultural institution that it has been for all of its life.

Tell us a little bit about some of the programs.

We will get to some of the history in a moment.

But some of the things that the foundation is doing to be relevant in today's world.

I love the world -- the word relevant.

For the last five years, we have really focused on what you want to be in the 20, how we want to position ourselves for the next several decades.

There are things we are doing to ensure that we continue to be a place that nurtures emerging artists, because that is what it has been historically.

For example, we have something called the apollo music cafe.

It supports emerging artists who are in the independent music movement there on our soundstage.

They work in all types of different music genres.

We have a salon theater that encourages a artists to push their creative boundaries and present workshops and different things that they are trying to do, different projects and from the public audiences.

We think that we have always been a gathering place for the harlem community and beyond.

What we have done as we look forward is to start something called the uptown hall series, which focuses on topical subjects, subjects that are of interest to pretty much everyone, but certainly, the harlem community residents and we collaborate, for example, we just did something with wnyc, for martin luther king's birthday.

We did something around the last election where we had a panel discussion and talked about the issues that were at stake, and we partnered with bt, with their get out the vote and vote like your life depends on it initiatives.

Things like that.

I'm really proud of them.

I want you to focus on the concept of having physicians and entertainers, performance artists that may not be mainstream yet.

It is a challenge for them.

We know that the internet exists and that you can transfer music all over the world.

Having said that, performing in front of a live audience can be very difficult for an act that does not have popular appeal.

Do you find that you are, in a sense, fertile ground for up-and-coming musical entertainment?

Absolutely.

If you look at the apollo legacy, it started with amateur night, which dated back to the when the doors opened in 1934. amateur night still runs at 7:30 p.m. every wednesday night and it is an opportunity for amateur artists to get up on that stage and show us what they've got.

And the apollo audience, which is by the way, a very diverse audience, let you know if you've got it or you don't. but when you think about all of the careers that were launched at the apollo, the ella fitzgerald, the james browns, the big dance, i pretty much anyone who did anything in the 30's, 40's, 50's through the 60's. they were not legends when they first appeared on the stage.

They were emerging artists.

I try to remind people that is what we are doing today.

We are trying to provide an opportunity for the artists that you just described.

Pre-k's do you find that it is almost a rare ability -- do you find that it is almost a rare ability because so much of entertainment has moved online, so that it is much more difficult and more expensive?

You've got to keep the lights on.

It's more effective unless you have hit after hit.

Then i get back to the idea of being a not-for-profit.

I have 1500 seats and i rely on the generosity of individuals, it -- individuals, corporations, and foundations.

I'm constantly fund-raising for these initiatives that i'm talking about.

I'm able to do them because i have raised the money to do it.

I'm lucky in that way.

Is there something particular that you would like to focus on, some particular project echo -- project?

Lex we have just announced our 21st-century apollo campaign, which is focused on -- we have raised 10 million of the $20 million we are trying to raise.

For example, in february -- we are in february, actually.

We learn are going to be doing apollo club harlem, which is something we launched last february.

It is like in the clubs in harlem in the 30's and 40's, but as seen through a contemporary lens.

It pays homage to our jazz legacy.

That is an example.

We just did something called "james brown, get on the good foot" which was a celebration of the music and choreography of james brown.

It is now touring in the u.s. and will be touring internationally beginning next february.

Those kind of thing, large-scale programming.

Do you have a favorite artist?

I don't. i really appreciate all of them.

I think that is what makes my job so exciting, to be able to sit in the theater, because that is where the administrative offices are and hear music wafting through.

I got a chance to hear ray charles.

I've gotten a chance to hear james brown.

I've gotten the chance to hear amazing mood -- amazing music by unknown artists.

I love it all, i really do.

Thank you very much, jonelle procope, head of the apollo foundation.

Coming up, during his days on the hardwood, bill cartwright was known for his ability to teach and pass the knowledge onto younger players.

Now we will find out how that kind of leadership applies to his business.

? this is "taking stock does quote on bloomberg.

I'm pimm fox.

Now to our new series called the pay book, the playbook for your pocketbook.

Bill cartwright spent 15 years in the nba with an acute understanding of playbooks x's and o's all while helping the bulls win three championships.

He became the owner of cartwright downes, a company that complete background checks on a global scale.

Great to have you here with us on bloomberg.

Tell people a little bit about your accomplishments on the court and then what happens when you go off the court.

Let's go backwards.

Because it's really hard to have a business when you are playing basketball or any sport, because it is a full-time competition just like sports.

Neither partner to be able to do that, someone you trust, someone that knows the industry.

I have been fortunate.

I have a restaurant also called friday's in highwood, illinois.

I have a great partner there, the number one chef in illinois.

And we started the ground check company, we were able to meet this gal, sandy downs, along with my wife, and they have been doing this for about six years.

We do background checks for pre-hires.

Its competition.

It's getting out there and letting people know who you are and what you stand for.

All of those things you hold in sports.

Holding yourself to a higher level, a higher quality of work.

A quicker turnaround time, and of course, reasonable prices.

It is just learning the game, learning what's needed, and going after it.

You could have gone into a lot of different types of businesses, perhaps.

People may have been offering new partnerships.

Why did you particularly selected this opportunity?

This is not the only thing i do.

I do coaches clinics still.

I am taking a year off from coaching.

I really intend to go back to coaching.

That is really who i am, a basketball coach.

But in this timeframe, this is what i'm doing.

This is what i'm putting my mind and effort into, to build this company.

And so far, were doing great.

Tell us a little bit about the business of background checks.

What kinds of companies come to you seeking these services?

That's a good question.

Who is our client?

Everybody, everybody that hires.

It is a basic understanding that when you do hire somebody, you're not a lead welcoming them into your company, but into your family.

You should really know everything about them.

And of course, depending on the level that you hire, the depth of the background has got to be greater.

You may want to do a driving check, a background check.

There are different levels of different employees that you are going to hire.

And you want to make sure you are going to get the absolute best candidate.

Hiring somebody should not be a quick process.

It should be one that you take your time.

You want to check the background and make sure that you absolutely have the right candidate and that person is best qualified for the job.

And he's not going to have done something in the past that they have not revealed to you.

Because if you are getting a background check done and now you are finding something that they have not up revealed, that tells you a lot about their character.

Bill cartwright, is there any similarity between the business of background checks and all of the scouting and background investigation that goes on when you are assembling a basketball team?

You want the best there, too.

You do want the best there.

And you want to know everything about their family, their friends, their habits, their work ethic.

I'm not saying every game, but a lot of teams have the guys followed to make sure that they are getting that person who's going to rep -- best represent their basketball team.

Money aside, you want to make sure somebody's not going to come in and damage the reputation of your team.

You absolutely should do as much background work as possible.

And then hopefully after that, they can play, which is the bottom line.

Exactly.

I wonder if you know of instances yourself where this happens in basketball, for example.

Of course.

It happens all the time in every sport.

You take a timeframe and you evaluate the player, you do a lot of background check on them.

Guys come in now and they are evaluated.

The coaches as well as the gm and owners are sitting in on that.

They get a psychological evaluation as well.

After all of this is said and done, most organizations feel they have a great feel for the player they're going to bring in.

Who will probably play a significant role on their team.

Do you remember what it was like when you first met michael jordan when he came?

Were there any preconceived notions or ideas about his background ability when the two of you took the court together?

You've got to remember, michael came to chicago in 1985, but i was training there in 88. everyone knew of michael and his work ethic.

Which is great for being a leader on the team.

We are both going to work really hard, show up on time, focus on what needs to be done and get after it.

Talk, if you can, little bit more about how basketball has changed since you were playing.

Are there any other major differences?

The guys now are bigger, faster, stronger.

There are better training techniques than when i first came into the league.

We practiced in queens.

And we had a regular at the laguardia community college.

I've got to tell you, that place, however cold it was outside, it was that cold inside.

Now everybody has their own training facilities.

You have a minimum of two trainers, whirlpools, top trainers and misuses -- and a masseuse.

I believe the guys that i played with for better basketball players.

We had a better sense of playing off of one another.

We had a better sense of basic fundamental skills, basic fundamental footwork, how to attack and counter.

Our skills were a lot better, but these guys, i will tell you, much better athletes.

But thank you very much for spending time with us, bill cartwright, nba jam and -- champion and -- nba champion and the chairman of cartwright downes.

Coming up, investors are scooping up hard works by young artists and flipping them for lots of money.

Find out why some are comparing it to the initial public offering market.

? the bidding has been described as ferocious.

Wealthy collectors are scooping up in works by young artists and reselling them quickly for profit.

Bloomberg reporter katya kazakina has an exclusive on the story and joins us with details.

Thank you for being here.

You were telling me that the publication of this story has sent your twitter following off the chart.

I have 40 new followers.

Congratulations.

What are these people reading about, that there are whole cadre of contemporary artists -- i have to admit i've never heard the names of any of these people before.

But something is going on.

What is happening?

There is a feeding frenzy is how it has been described.

The artwork -- the art world focuses on a few select artists and the prices are being picked up and they explode within maybe one or two years.

For example, one artist was selling for under $10,000 just two years ago.

A painting of his soul for $400,000 in september.

-- of his sold for $400,000 in september.

This particular painting went from $7,000 -- what a minute, from $7,000 up to 400,000 dollars in eight to 12 month?

A little more than two years.

Is this a bubble?

That is a good question.

The last time this was happening was in 2007 and that was right before the bubble collapse.

For me, this was an indication of something to watch carefully to see what is going on.

The prices, now they are turning to pop up at auctions.

Who are these collectors?

Who are these people that are paying $400,000 for something that was $4000? it is somebody who hopes this will be the next best gap -- bas quiat.

So they buy them and they want to hold them forever?

Well, the flippers flip, and others buy and hold.

They are collectors traders, artists -- other artist, sometimes trader dealers.

They have some knowledge that something big is going to happen in this person's career.

What is going to happen with lucian smith?

I did not know about him a year ago and then people started talking about him.

He graduated recently with from hard school and his painting sold in november -- from art school and his painting in a member sold for almost $400,000. and another that looks like a landscape of winnie the pooh without the characters.

How about 80 peak?

-- eddie peake?

He is a british artist.

The market focuses on paintings and it is mostly right now male artists under 35 with paintings.

Thank you very much.

You can hear the full story at bloomberg.com.

Thanks for "taking stock here comes ? -- thanks for "taking stock." ?

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.

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