The Attorney Who Almost Always Wears Bow Ties

By
My friend and I started a sports-marketing firm — we were Mary Lou Retton’s agent! I got her her Wheaties box. Photo: Bobby Doherty

Michael H. Goldberg, Attorney

Do you always wear bow ties?
About 98 percent of the time for the past 35 years. I started out just wearing them during the summer, but then when I got into the sports business, I found that people would remember me and be like, “Oh, you’re the guy with the bow tie.” And I thought, Well, that’s not bad, that’ll be my little brand.

What sort of sports business did you do?
I was a lawyer for the American Basketball Association and was very involved with its merger with the NBA in 1976. After that, my friend and I started a sports-marketing firm — we were Mary Lou Retton’s agent! I got her her Wheaties box. When my partner died in 2000, I sold our company and went back to my first love, basketball, and am the executive director of the NBA Coaches Association. My office is in midtown, and when the weather’s nice, I’ll ride a Citi Bike to work.

Where do you live?
On the Upper East Side, but my wife and I are not Upper East Side people. Our favorite restaurant is Runner & Stone in Gowanus. You don’t get hipper than us.

Lightning Round
Born: At Beth Israel. “I lived on the Lower East Side till I was 12, then Rego Park. I’m the ultimate New Yorker: went to NYU for college, St. John’s for law school.”
Bow ties: “All from Paul Stuart and Seigo Neckwear.”
Kids: Two daughters, and two grandsons.
Basketball team: The Knicks. “I’ve had season tickets for 30 years. Our seats aren’t courtside — that’s not me — but they have a great angle.” Holiday plans:Seeing The Big Short on Christmas, then watching the ball drop and going to sleep.”

*This article appears in the December 28, 2015 issue of New York Magazine.