Inductee Update: Catching Up With Trajan Langdon
November 2, 2015
Trajan Langdon of Anchorage has worked in the front office for the San Antonio Spurs since 2012. He even got a ring when they won the 2014 championship.
The Spurs are one of the most successful and respected teams in the NBA.
And he’s leaving it all behind.
Langdon has accepted a job in the front office of the Cleveland Cavaliers in a move that will bring him closer to becoming a general manager one day.
The 39-year-old has been hired as the team’s Director of Player Administration and will work directly under Cavs GM David Griffin.
Langdon, of East High fame, had worked as the Eastern Regional Pro Personnel Scout for San Antonio since 2012.
He retired as a player in 2011 after three years in the NBA and nine years in the Euroleague, where he won eight league championships in Russia, Italy and Turkey and was selected to the Euroleague All-Decade Team.
The 6-foot-3 guard was the first Alaskan to play in the NBA after an All-American career at Duke University.
He was inducted into the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.
We recently caught up with Langdon to see how he was doing before the start of the NBA season.
Question: What are your thoughts about going back to Cleveland?
Answer: I always thought, even though I enjoyed my three years in Cleveland, it wouldn’t be a place that I would ever return to. Then this opportunity came up and after visiting and understanding what the position entailed, I became pretty excited about it. The city has changed for the better, and the downtown is growing and has much more to offer. Now with a wife and kids, I think my time in Cleveland will be different and better.
Q: What will your responsibilities be with the Cavs?
A: My responsibilities initially are as a liaison between the team (players and coaches) and the front office. I will be with the team the majority of the time and will do some scouting on the side of some road trips. I will be keeping a pulse on the team, as our GM will not travel on most road trips
Q: Does it help that you played there before working there in the front office?
A: It definitely will help a bit coming back to a place I previously played. The arena has been renovated, but it is still the same place I played in, which is cool. There are still some of the same people within the organization who were here when I played. I always appreciated the way I was treated when I played for the Cavs, and they have always been great whenever I have returned to scout in Cleveland. The fact that there are good people here who I would be working with was important to me in making this decision.
Q: What did you learn working with the Spurs?
A: There are so many things I learned in my three years with the Spurs that it wouldn’t do justice to try to answer it in a paragraph. The short version is that I learned a lot about process and how much goes into creating and maintaining a successful team and organization. Much attention to detail and a lot more background workout goes into the acquisition of certain players than the average fan might think.
Q: Where do you keep your NBA championship ring?
A: My championship ring is kept in a safe. It was unbelievable to be part of that season. I’ve never seen anything like what those guys did for that entire year, especially after losing the way they did in the Finals the year before. To be part of that, and to be in San Antonio when we won Game 5, was unbelievable and something I will never forget.
Q: You have always been a winner; how are you always able to put yourself in those situations?
A: I was incredibly fortunate to have been a part of winning teams at a high school, college, and professional level when I played. And to have been part of winning as part of a front office now has been another blessing. I try to work hard to do my best and treat people the right way. That was something that I was taught from my parents and I consider very important in life.
Q: How are you able to relate to players, what’s your relationship w/ guys and do they remember you?
A: I think I am able to relate to players pretty well. Right now it is about establishing relationships and that is a slow process. I think guys who I have played with or against respect me for sure; and other guys respect what I have accomplished when I played and respect the fact that I was a winner. But I need to respect what these guys are going through now and help them in whatever way I can. I think the combination of these two things will lead to solid relationships with the players going forward.
Q: What advice would you give young Alaska players looking to get better and advance as far as possible?
A: The advice that I would give, and that I have always given, is to find your passion, whatever that might be, and work hard at being the best that you can be. Take advice and listen to others who have your best interest at heart and want to see you get better. To be good at something you really have to put in the time and work at it, but don’t concern yourself with others and being as good as someone else. Be as good as you can be and if you do that, there will be nothing to be disappointed about, because you know that you have given your best. Live your life by treating people the right way and with respect.