Boardroom: Out of Office

Episode 45: Al Harrington, former NBA player and Founder/CEO of Viola Brands, the only black-owned multinational...

Episode 45: Al Harrington, former NBA player and Founder/CEO of Viola Brands, the only black-owned multinational cannabis company.

Boardroom: Out of Office - June 9, 2021 - 1:06:49

Al Harrington was such a basketball late bloomer in high school, his own mother wouldn’t come to his games. What was the point if her son was riding the bench? But hard work and a growth spurt turned Al Harrington from so-so hooper to the nation's top high school player by his senior year. In '98, he was a McDonalds All-American, and the Gatorade and USA Today Player of the Year. Drafted out of high school in the 1st round pick by the Indiana Pacers. Harrington reveals the profane warning that Larry Bird, the Pacers Head Coach, barked at him when he showed up late for his first team meeting. Harrington describes what he learned from veteran teammates like Antonio Davis and Reggie Miller that helped forge professional habits over his 16-year NBA career with multiple teams. Harrington talks to Rich and Gianni about his surprising entry point into the cannabis business, which began with Harrington’s search for ways to help his grandmother, Viola, cope with her glaucoma and diabetes symptoms. Harrington later met with then-NBA commissioner, David Stern, and managed to change Stern’s opinion about the dangers of cannabis. That meeting paved the way for the NBA to set the tone for how pro leagues take a more tolerant stance on marijuana use by players. In this powerful episode, Harrington drops many gems, including his stunning estimate of the number of NBA players who used marijuana when he started in the league in the late ‘90s, a number he believes has held steady to this day.

Previous Episode

Episode 44: Rich and Gianni go one on one to talk about the NBA playoffs, WNBA star, Sabrina Ionescu, the success of Lebron James' agent, Rich Paul, and the firestorm around Naomi Osaka’s withdrawal from the French Open.

June 2, 2021 - 53:09
In this episode, Rich and Gianni have lots to discuss. In a week of major headlines, they get into Naomi Osaka’s decision not to do...

Next Episode

Episode 46: Mark Ronson, the globally renowned DJ, and Oscar- and Grammy-winning music producer and artist.

June 16, 2021 - 1:04:06
This is a special episode where Rich and Gianni welcome Mark Ronson, one of Rich's long-time friends and a former business partner. Mark...

About The Show

Boardroom: Out of Office brings fans inside the candid conversations entrepreneurs, athletes, entertainers, and executives have with each other once they’ve left the confines of work itself. From career trajectories to the ins-and-outs of entrepreneurship to the “aha!” moments along the way, host Rich Kleiman gives fans a look at culture in a brand-new way by examining life at the intersection of business and entertainment.