NEW YORK - Gary Bettman earns nearly $10 million per year. He lives in an upscale suburb outside New York. At the age of 30, he was already No. 2 in the NBA hierarchy.
It is said that the road to the top must have been easy one for him.
"Never! I was born in Queens in 1952. And my parents, middle-class people, divorced when I was five. Do you have any idea what a divorce in a Jewish family meant in the 50s? I think I was the only kid in primary school to live in a single-parent family. If I wasn't the only one, there definitely weren't many. It just didn't happen. Then, my dad died when I was 12. He was only 40. My mother died when she was 53. I got along on my own in life. To do my law studies, I was married and I had to work in addition to my studies to pay tuition. It wasn't easy and I suppose I was lucky to get a good job in a big New York firm. But I had to work hard to get to where I am."
He is married to Shelli and is the father of three kids: Lauren, Jordan and Brittany. His wife drives a Mercedes and Bettman an Acura. Remember, Honda-Acura is an NHL sponsor.