Bonnie-Jill Laflin has a number of firsts in her career. Laflin is the first and only female NBA scout, holding the front office position with the Los Angeles Lakers. She is the first to cheer on a professional level for three teams, in two sports, starting with the NBA and the Golden State Warriors, and moving to the NFL with both the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys. Laflin is the first female to be awarded six championship rings in two professional sports, earning a Super Bowl ring during her time cheering for the 49ers and five NBA championship rings as an executive for the Lakers.
Laflin is currently a segment reporter for FOX Sports, as well as the host of the first NBA show in China, MuhoTV. Beyond her professional ventures, Laflin is committed to and passionate about animal welfare and the nation’s veterans, founding the non-profit Hounds and Heroes. She has traveled abroad on eighteen USO tours, including bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, to boost the morale of service members.
How do you define your professional life, as of this moment?
Having spent the many years on the scouting & basketball operations for the Lakers, I am revisiting my journalism background & working as a sports reporter for Fox Sports and Muho TV (the first NBA sports show in China) Plus I have a new show for the NFL, for next year. Otherwise, I spend as much time as possible in charity work and with my foundation, Hounds and Heroes (www.houndsandheroes.com).
What are your 1 year, 5 year, and lifetime goals?
My immediate goal is to be the best reporter I can be, and open myself up to new opportunities as they arrive. Keep expanding my charity as well. Long term, it is no secret that I hope to own my own sports franchise someday.... :-)
One sentence on Deflate-gate;
Another dark cloud in the Belichick era.
One sentence on doping;
Unfortunately it's a large problem in professional sports.
One sentence on FIFA scandal;
What a shame that this scandal is what defines the sport for so many Americans now.
One sentence on the absence of an NFL team in Los Angeles;
How many ways can I say it, something is wrong here, we have 2 baseball teams, 2 hockey teams and 2 basketball teams...but no NFL team??
Lakers or Clippers?
C'mon now! You're trying to get me in trouble, right? I used to work for the Lakers, and have 5 championship rings.
Can you morally justify athlete's salaries?
That's a tough one. They wouldn't get paid that much if the sport itself, the leagues, the owners and the fans didn't support it. You have billionaires paying millionaires. Sometimes athletes don't respect the game or appreciate how much they make compared to a Marine sacrificing his life for this country.
You must be so over the whole "a pretty girl knows and loves sports" thing. How do you deal with it, without violence?
By being so good at my job that it isn't an issue (and thank you for the compliment :-)
Your work with animals is clearly as close to being an animal hero as possible. Other than the beauty of animal life, what inspires you to push so hard, sometimes to your own detriment, to save these animals?
I've always had a special bond with animals at a small age. My parents were always rescuing dogs, cats, horses and other animals so it was instilled in me right away. Animals need our voice and as an animal activist I make it my passion to continue to fight for animal rights...compassion for all animals!
Traveling to areas of conflict in support of America's troops is one of the most amazing things a civilian can do for his/her country. Clearly, and thankfully, you don't do it for the exposure. Explain your motivation. Growing up in a military family, both grandfathers served in WWII and my Uncle was a career Marine serving in Vietnam, I've always had the utmost respect for our military. These incredibly brave men and women make it possible for me to live the kind of life I have. They are all my heroes and deserve my gratitude and "thank you" for all that they sacrifice. I'm grateful and honored to have 19 USO/Goodwill tours (8 to Iraq and Afghanistan) under my belt and will continue to support our troops and veterans overseas and stateside!
It seems being Bonnie-Jill Laflin is a tireless, full-time, and all-encompassing task. What do you do to decompress?
Believe it or not, I watch sports! Just ask my neighbors (who can usually hear me yelling at the TV). I also ride my horses, hang out with friends, family, movies (especially scary ones), and play with my fur babies.