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This spring, right in time for play-off season, Mark Biskamp became vice president and general counsel of the Houston Rockets. While Biskamp, 46, lacks the post-up prowess of center Yao Ming and the deft shooting touch of Steve Francis, no one in the Rockets organization has the crossover skills that the new GC has demonstrated. Having spent ten years in Dallas working for two law firms and then as GC of Home Interiors and Gifts Inc. (then owner of the Dallas Mavericks), Biskamp decided in 1993 to enroll at the University of Virginia for a graduate degree in psychology. “I thought that if I hadn’t done it then, I wouldn’t have done it later,” he says. As a grad student, Biskamp conducted individual and group counseling sessions and also worked as a teaching assistant. In 1997 he returned to Texas, signing up for a predoctoral internship, specializing in forensic matters, at Baylor College of Medicine. But then, just as he had in 1993, Biskamp suddenly had second thoughts about his career choice. “With managed care these days, it’s hard to make a good living in psychology,” he says. In 1999 Biskamp joined Trial Behavior Consulting Inc., a jury consulting company that would tap his legal and psychology background. That job lasted just two years, until Houston’s Baker Botts lured Biskamp into its fold. He worked on a number of entertainment and sports matters for the firm, and one of his clients was the Houston Rockets. The team hired him when vice president of legal affairs Stacey Humphries left to join a legal recruiting firm. Biskamp admits he’s had a strange journey this past decade but describes his varied background as an asset. “I definitely think my knowledge of psychology will help me craft better relations [with] my client,” he says. Biskamp plans to help the team work through various contractual issues, including the sale of sponsorship packages and the negotiation of player contracts. So, how would he analyze the volatile behavior of point guard Steve Francis, who is reputedly unhappy with coach Jeff Van Gundy? Biskamp, once again the lawyer, won’t even go there.

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