Posts Tagged ‘Adam Silver’

NBA commissioner Adam Silver shot down rumblings Thursday about potential league expansion.

“The talk of expansion after 2024 is not true. We are not discussing that at this time,” Silver told reporters ahead of Game 1 of The Finals between the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors, per Spotrac’s Keith Smith.

A report last month by Portland-based columnist John Canzano said the NBA has Seattle and Las Vegas earmarked as candidates for expansion in 2024 when the league’s current media deal expires.

Despite denying the rumor, Silver provided a glimmer of hope for possible new franchises, saying that “it’s invariable at some point the league will expand.”

Seattle has long been rumored as a site for expansion and relocation ever since losing the SuperSonics franchise to Oklahoma City, which then became the Thunder.

Las Vegas has been given new franchises in the NHL, NFL, and WNBA within the last five years.

The NBA hasn’t added a new team since the Charlotte Hornets joined in 2004. The expansion fee for that sale was $300 million, a price estimated to have jumped to around $1 billion today.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver says New York City should re-examine its current vaccine mandate that prohibits unvaccinated players from playing in home games.

Silver cited the lack of enforcement toward visiting players as a reason to re-evaluate.

“The oddity of it to me is that it only applies to home players,” Silver said during an appearance on ESPN’s Get Up. “If ultimately that rule is about protecting people who are in the arena, it just doesn’t quite make sense to me that an away player who is unvaccinated can play in Barclays (Center), but the home player can’t. To me, that’s a reason they should take a look at that ordinance.”

While all New York Knicks players were fully vaccinated before the start of the 2021-22 campaign, Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving remains the league’s most high-profile unvaccinated player. He’s currently only eligible to play in road games outside of New York and Toronto.

A similar mandate enacted in San Francisco impacted Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins earlier this season, but the Canadian ultimately elected to get vaccinated so he could suit up for home games.

Silver added that he could envision New York City mayor Eric Adams modifying the current vaccine mandate, considering he wasn’t in office when it was implemented. Adams said in November that the city’s mandate would remain the same, but he offered an updated stance on Wednesday.

“The rule is unfair,” Adams said, according to Politico’s Amanda Eisenberg.

He also said he’s “struggling” with the decision of whether to change the mandate because it could send mixed messages to the public.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Friday that he hopes the play-in tournament becomes an annual fixture.

“I haven’t made any secret about the fact I want it to be,” he said on ESPN’s “Keyshawn, JWill & Zubin.” “I have two constituencies out there I need to convince of that. One is the 30 teams, and I think, for the most part, they’ve supported it. Again, I understand the sentiment if I were a team – with the 7-seed in particular – the notion after a long season, you could potentially play out of the playoffs.

“I understand those feelings, and I think at the same time, the teams recognize that … the amount of additional interest we’ve created over the last month of the season, plus those play-in games, make it worth it.”

Silver continued: “And of course, the other constituency is the players. For example, one player said to me yesterday, who’s on the executive committee of the union, that he really likes the play-in tournament, but he felt it could potentially be a bit unfair. For example, if you were the seventh seed and you were a significant number of games ahead of the 8-seed, the notion that you could somehow lose two games and be out of the playoffs seems unfair.”

Multiple NBA personnel criticized the play-in tournament in the final weeks of the regular season, including Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, who said its inventor “needs to be fired.”

However, the competition appears to be a ratings boon. The Lakers’ win Wednesday over the Golden State Warriors in a Western Conference play-in game drew an average audience of just over 5.6 million, resulting in ESPN’s most-watched NBA game since the 2019 Western Conference finals, according to Ben Cafardo of ESPN.

Silver has suggested the play-in tournament’s format can be altered moving forward (last year’s edition only planned for the eighth- and ninth-placed teams to compete against each other). And while he saw late-season benefits to holding the tournament this year, he hopes to convince everyone it’s a good idea to keep.

“Beyond the individual ratings … where I think the play-in tournament really had an impact was causing teams, who frankly might otherwise have thrown in the towel some number of weeks back, to fight for those last playoff spots.”

Wednesday’s win immediately locked in the Lakers as the seventh seed in the West, setting up a first-round series against the Phoenix Suns. The Warriors, meanwhile, face the Memphis Grizzlies for the eighth seed and a chance to take on the top-ranked Utah Jazz in the first round. Memphis progressed to a second game after defeating the San Antonio Spurs earlier Wednesday.

Friday’s matchup between the Warriors and Grizzlies will be the final play-in game before the playoffs begin. The Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards emerged as the East’s No. 7 and No. 8 seeds, respectively.

James Harden may have avoided a suspension in part because Adam Silver was in the holiday spirit.

When asked why he didn’t penalize the Houston Rockets superstar for violating the league’s health and safety protocols with a ban rather than a $50,000 fine, the NBA commissioner elaborated on his recent ruling.

“The precedent is that discipline gets ratcheted up. It’s Christmas. It was a first offense,” Silver said Thursday on ESPN’s “The Jump.”

“Frankly, to your point, the $50,000 is the limit of my authority under the collective bargaining agreement,” Silver continued, “and what would have happened – in a way, he got lucky, because if the game had taken place last night as scheduled and he were unavailable because of his own actions, he would have missed a game and a paycheck.”

The 2018 MVP was fined following the league’s investigation into a video clip that showed him attending an indoor social gathering at a club event without wearing a mask. Attending bars, clubs, and live entertainment venues is forbidden under the league’s current protocols, which aim to prevent the spread of COVID-19. He also attended an event at an Atlanta club in early December while holding out at the start of training camp.

Harden was ruled ineligible to play in Wednesday’s scheduled season opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder, which was ultimately postponed because Houston wasn’t able to dress the league minimum of eight players. The eight-time All-Star is apparently expected to make his season debut in Saturday’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers so long as he completes his mandatory four-day quarantine which began on Tuesday.

The three-time NBA scoring champion reportedly requested a trade out of Houston prior to the start of training camp.

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In the event the coronavirus penetrates the NBA’s bubble setup after all 22 teams arrive in Florida, commissioner Adam Silver acknowledged the league would be forced to halt play for a second time.

“Certainly if we had any sort of significant spread within our campus, we would be shut down again,” Silver said Tuesday during a virtual interview with Fortune Brainstorm Health, according to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk.

Twenty-five NBA players have tested positive for COVID-19 since the NBA began conducting regular tests on June 23.

“We won’t be surprised when they (players) first come down to Orlando if we have some additional players test positive,” Silver said.

“What would be most concerning is once players enter this campus and then go through our quarantine period, then if they were to test positive or if we were to have any positive tests, we would know we would have an issue. … We would know that there’s in essence a hole in our bubble or that our quarantine or our campus is not working in some way.”

Once all travel parties have arrived at Orlando’s Walt Disney World Resort by July 9, players and team personnel will have to quarantine for two days.

The 2019-20 regular season is set to resume July 30.

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With no fixed return date yet for the 2019-20 NBA campaign, the COVID-19 pandemic is increasingly likely to alter next season as well.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver has been preparing teams for a potential delayed start to the 2020-21 campaign, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Beginning next season in December and ending it in late July or August has garnered support, sources told Wojnarowski.

Some personnel within the league have publicly endorsed tipping off NBA campaigns during the holiday season.

At the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in early March, Atlanta Hawks CEO Steve Koonin reasoned that a December start date would boost the league’s ratings by limiting its direct competition with the NFL and college football.

“Many times, at the start of the NBA season, we are competing with arguably the best Thursday Night Football game with the NBA on TNT, our marquee broadcast, and we get crushed, and we wonder why?” Koonin said.

“It’s because at the beginning of the season, there’s very little relevance for the NBA. The relevance is now. That’s when people are talking about it,” he added.

Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon opined earlier this month that Christmas may be a more beneficial start date.

Silver has yet to determine the fate of this season, though he has said no decision would come down until at least May.

The NHL, which runs on a similar October-to-April regular-season schedule, is also reportedly considering starting its 2020-21 season in December.

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In the NBA’s latest cost-cutting measure amid the coronavirus pandemic, the league and NBPA have agreed to withhold 25% of each player’s paycheck beginning May 15, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The agreement will allow for a gradual reduction in player salaries in the event the CBA’s force majeure provision is automatically exercised if regular-season games are canceled, Wojnarowski adds.

If the season resumes and remaining regular-season games are eventually played, players would reportedly have the money deducted returned to them. Otherwise, teams would reportedly keep a percentage of the deducted money based on the amount of games canceled.

A provision that’s invoked to help combat a catastrophic event such as the COVID-19 outbreak, the force majeure would result in players losing out on 1/92.6 of their salary for every canceled game.

This is the first cost-cutting measure introduced by the league that specifically impacts players’ income.

Last month, 100 of the NBA’s top executives reportedly had their base salaries reduced by 20%.

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NBA commissioner Adam Silver doesn’t know when he’ll be able to share more information about the future of the 2019-20 season, but he doesn’t expect anything concrete to happen this month.

“Essentially, what I’ve told my folks over the last week is that we should just accept that – at least for the month of April – we won’t be in a position to make any decisions,” Silver said in an interview with TNT’s Ernie Johnson on Monday. “And I don’t think that necessarily means that on May 1 we will be, but at least I know – just to settle everybody down a little bit.

“That doesn’t mean that internally, both the league and in discussions with our players and our teams, we aren’t looking at many different scenarios for restarting the season, but I think it honestly is just too early given what’s happening right now to even project or predict where we’ll be in a few weeks.”

Silver added that in a “perfect world,” the NBA would play out the remainder of the regular season. He also acknowledged the league office has discussed a number of contingency plans, including the possibility of holding tournaments at a single site.

But at this point, everything is up in the air – even more so than when the NBA suspended its season on March 11.

“When we initially shut down – we were calling it a hiatus or a pause – there was a notion of 30 days because there wasn’t any of the widespread view at that point that our country would, in essence, be entirely shut down over the next several weeks,” Silver said. “And so the fact is now, sitting here today, I know less, in a way, than I did then.”

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Former NBA commissioner David Stern is dead at the age of 77, the league announced on Wednesday.

Stern had been hospitalized since Dec. 17 after suffering a brain hemorrhage. His wife, Dianne, and their family were at his bedside.

“For 22 years, I had a courtside seat to watch David in action,” commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “He was a mentor and one of my dearest friends. We spent countless hours in the office, at arenas, and on planes wherever the game would take us.

“Like every NBA legend, David had extraordinary talents, but with him it was always about the fundamentals – preparation, attention to detail, and hard work.”

Stern was the NBA’s commissioner from 1984 through 2014. He succeeded Larry O’Brien in the role, and the league grew tremendously worldwide under his leadership.

Under Stern’s watch, the Association established its first franchises outside of the United States, and exhibition and regular-season games have been played in Mexico, Europe, and Asia over the years.

“David took over the NBA in 1984 with the league at a crossroads,” Silver said. “But over the course of 30 years as commissioner, he ushered in the modern global NBA. He launched groundbreaking media and marketing partnerships, digital assets, and social-responsibility programs that have brought the game to billions of people around the world.

“Because of David, the NBA is a truly global brand – making him not only one of the greatest sports commissioners of all time but also one of the most influential business leaders of his generation.”

One day after the Chinese government denied calling for the firing of Houston Rockets General manager Daryl Morey, the country’s state media took their own shot at Adam Silver.

CCTV said Silver’s claims were an act of defamation and the NBA commissioner had “crossed the bottom line of the Chinese people” by continuing to support Morey.

“Silver has spared no effort to portray himself as a fighter for free speech and used freedom of speech as an excuse to cover for Morey, who voiced his support for the violent actors in Hong Kong,” the CCTV said in a commentary on Saturday, according to Catherine Wong of South China Morning Post. 

“To please some American politicians, Silver has fabricated lies out of nothing and has sought to paint China as unforgiving.”

Silver spoke about the league’s tense relations with China at the Time 100 Health Summit on Thursday. He said the country’s government made it clear they wanted Morey canned over his tweet supporting anti-government protesters in Hong Kong.

The Rockets executive has sparked a movement that’s extended into North America. Pro-Hong Kong protests have been a common scene throughout the NBA’s preseason. 

At Friday’s exhibition affair between the Brooklyn Nets and Toronto Raptors, an entire section filled with protesters sported “Stand with Hong Kong” T-shirts.