Chat with Bob Lloyd
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, Bob Lloyd, chairman of the V Foundation, stops by to talk hoops and celebrate Jimmy V Week here at ESPN.
In the 18 years since The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded by ESPN and Jim Valvano, the foundation has raised more than $100 million. For more information, or to donate to the V Foundation, call 1-800-4-JimmyV or go here.
Lloyd has served in his role since 1994. Lloyd and Jim Valvano were college roommates and teammates at Rutgers, where as a senior in 1967, Lloyd became Rutgers' first basketball All-America honoree. Lloyd went on to play two seasons of professional basketball with the New York Nets before embarking on a business career.
Send your questions now and join Lloyd Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (3:03 PM)
V Foundation Chairman Bob Lloyd will be here shortly to take your questions as we celebrate Jimmy V Week!
Buzzmaster (3:13 PM)
We've got Bob!
How impressed are you by how big the Foundation has gotten?
Bob Lloyd (3:15 PM)
Well, like Jimmy, he always thought big and the Foundation and our board does. We're satisfied, but we have much biggers aspirations. We are fighting the disease. Unfortunately, it afflicts 3 in 5 of us. We're funding it at 100% going to research. There are grants that we just can't fund. Although we feel satisfied, we want to do more.
You've been with the Foundation since the start, correct? What was it like talking with Jimmy V when starting up the foundation?
Bob Lloyd (3:17 PM)
I used to run a public company. I would go to NYC and do the Wall Street dance. Then I would get a car to take me up to good ol' Bristol, CT and I would hang out with Jimmy and John Saunders. I talked with Jimmy and he asked me to be on the board. When I say we're satisified, I say, holy cow, I remember our first board meeting. In some ways, it was like, let's start a circus. But luckily we had very bright people that Jimmy had selected. They really helped guide us and move us in the right direction. Sometimes, I sit and say wow, we've moved this in a direction that's made a difference. It's funny, people ask me why I did it, why I've been chairman for so long. My response is simple. My friend asked me.
What's your day-to-day role within the organization?
Bob Lloyd (3:19 PM)
As chairman, it's really working with the board, building the board. As you get larger, good foundations, good non-profits are run like a good business. Although it's for a good cause, it's run like a business. The CEO reports directly to me. I work with him. The board sets policy. It's really what a chairman does with a public company, keeping the ship running in the right direction. We have a great CEO in Nick Valvano. I probably spend a day and a half a week on the Foundation and another day, day and a half of the wine fundraiser, our biggest fund raiser. We raise about $4 million there.
Any funny roommate stories from living with Jim at Rutgers?
Bob Lloyd (3:21 PM)
Those I can tell online, not many! True story...we're playing, I think West Point at home. I get fouled. I have two shots with one second to go, we're down by one. Make the first, miss the second, we go to OT. We get down to the last second of OT, same situation and I have a one and one. Just as the ref gives me the ball, Jimmy whispers in my ear, pats me and walks away. Reporters ask me what did he say, give you encouragement? No, he said "Lloyd, you got us into this mess, now get us out of it." He was trying to relax me. Luckily it worked.
How critical is it that the V Foundation has the backing of ESPN?
Bob Lloyd (3:23 PM)
Well, as I say to George Bodenheimer and the V Committee. We'd be a nice little charity doing good work without ESPN. With ESPN, we're a prominent national charity doing great work. The ESPN relationship is just critical to the foundation. A charity is run as a business. The V Foundation brand that's been built couldn't have been built without ESPN.
Ferris (San Francisco)
Do you think with the efforts of the V Foundation and countless other organizations around the country that we'll see a cure for cancer in the near future?
Bob Lloyd (3:24 PM)
Well, unfortunately, there are hundreds if not thousands types of cancer. There is not a silver bullet. All cancers react differently to drugs, therapy, etc. That's why our focus is 100% research. You have to pound away to find cures for cancer. Testicular cancer used to be a death sentence. Now it's something like 90% being able to live 10 or more years. Drugs and treatments of other cancers hold it at bay and you can live years and years. We're definitely making headway. Statistics show that deaths from cancer are dropping year by year by year.
What would Jim Valvano think of the foundation today?
Bob Lloyd (3:25 PM)
As I said earlier, he would say great job, but now we have to win the NCAAs. He would coach us. He would say great, you did good here, great there, but now you have to do better here. That's what drives us. New board members that come in, that's what we look for, a passion to fight cancer. We're pushing to do more and more.
Bob, how much does Jimmy V Week help the foundation?
Bob Lloyd (3:27 PM)
Just in terms of dollars, it raises well over $1 million for us. It's vital to us. One million dollars is two significant grants for research. But it just builds the V brand so when we go talk to a corporation or an individual about making a donation, they know what the foundation is about. You can't put a price on that. V Week is sort of the pinnacle of the relationship with ESPN. The exposure is phenomenal.
How many times do you watch Jimmy's ESPYS speech?
Bob Lloyd (3:29 PM)
.....I'm trying to get out my answer.....I've probably seen it about 500 times and I still can't get through the whole thing. I tried to be with Jim when he didn't have people around him. I didn't go with him to the ESPYS and he called me the next morning. I said Jim, who wrote that speech? He said, I did. Some of the lines in it "Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities..." it's like where did that come from? There are so many lines in there. It was so emotional. It is one of the greatest speeches, I think, ever. At our wine event, we would show it Friday night when we had dinners and we did it for the first five years and in the sixth year, we didn't. The biggest complaint we got that sixth year was where is the speech? We show it every year now.
Bob Lloyd (3:30 PM)
What's amazing about that speech, a lot of times, you'll see a speech and it will be dated. That speech isn't dated. It's as pertinent as it was 17-18 years ago.
How did you get involved with the V Foundation?
Bob Lloyd (3:31 PM)
I immediately said yes. Then the questions started. What are the goals of the foundation? What other board members would you like to see on the board? We talked about building a board, about the different expertise you need. Jimmy in that discussion said, Bob, I want you to be the business guy. There have been other great business people on the board and added others. We have a really great board. Very proud of them.
Bob Lloyd (3:32 PM)
Thank you for the interest in the foundation. I just want to thank ESPN and everything the employees do for us. From the heart, we appreciate everything they do.