PACK MENTALITY
Slam|September - October 2020
MEET ROBBY SIKKA, THE SUPERFAN TURNED DOCTOR TURNED NBA TEAM VP WHOSE EXPERTISE HAS BEEN CRUCIAL FOR THE NBA THROUGHOUT THE PANDEMIC.
ALEX SQUADRON

EVERY WORK DAY looks different for Robby Sikka, the vice president of basketball performance and technology for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Whether it’s via phone or video conference, Sikka interacts with dozens of people every day, helping with everything from giving input on the food on the team’s menu to understanding and strategizing how the team should address the coronavirus crisis. He’ll arrange medical care, talk to players about their physical and mental health, drop constant updates on the pandemic in the organization’s communications platform (which he helped build), study sports science data and connect with business CEOs, social justice activists, wellness experts and more.

“Really, it’s anything and everything that the organization needs,” Sikka explains. “I’m committed because Ijust want to win so badly. I want the organization to be successful and I want the people here to be successful. I've never been around a front office or a group of coaches that care more about one another. It's a family.”

What that family specifically asks of Sikka has obviously changed since the coronavirus shut down the NBA in mid-March, but his overall role has remained the same—draw from various sources and unite diverse perspectives to come up with the best solutions to problems. In fact, that role is as important now as it’s ever been.

Sikka's father moved to Minnesota from India in 1969 and immediately fell in love with the local sports teams, recognizing his fandom as one way to assimilate to the culture. The Timberwolves were founded in 1989 and the Sikka's became season ticket holders right away. From the days of Tony Campbell and Tyrone Corbin,

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