September 22, 1955 |
Forlì, Forlì-Cesena, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
|Oklahoma City Thunder|
Gherardini started his basketball career as a player playing on his hometown team of Libertas Pallacanestro Forlì from 1971 to 1975. From there he went on to become an assistant coach for Forlì and was also a director of youth teams for the club. He held those roles from 1975–1982, when he was then promoted to be the team's general manager in 1983. Forlì was playing in the top league (LBA) when Gherardini took over as GM.
After nine years at the helm of Forlì, Gherardini left the team in 1992 to take over as the general manager of Benetton Treviso, and molded that squad into one of the most familiar basketball clubs outside of the NBA. Benetton won four Italian League championships (1997, 2002, 2003, and 2006), three Italian Supercups (1997-98 season, 2001-02 season, and 2002-03 season), made four appearances in the EuroLeague Final Four (1993, 1998, 2002, and 2003), and helped them capture seven Italian Cups (1993–1995, 2000, 2003–2005). He was named the Italian League's Best Executive in 2006.
Former NBA basketball player and general manager Kiki Vandeweghe said that Gherardini was one of the best general managers in the world and said that there is no doubt that Gherardini would make a great GM in the NBA.
Interviewed by Charlotte
In 2003, Gherardini was interviewed for the Charlotte Bobcats general manager position. It was the first time that a non-American citizen had been interviewed for a top job on an NBA team. Although he was seriously considered for the job, the Bobcats hired Bernie Bickerstaff instead.
Hired by Toronto
On June 22, 2006, Gherardini was hired by the Toronto Raptors as vice president and assistant general manager.
Following Bryan Colangelo's departure from Toronto, Gherardini was made free to pursue other options. He was hired Nov. 7, 2013, by the Oklahoma City Thunder as their senior advisor of international affairs.