Posts Tagged ‘Adam Silver’

 
 

Who’s excited for a WarriorsSixers playoff meeting in the near future? It’s not as far-fetched as it sounds.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said the league is exploring the possibility of restructured playoff seeding. One potential format under consideration would see the playoff teams seeded 1-through-16, regardless of conference, according to ESPN’s Nick Friedell.

“Reformatting the playoffs is something we’ll continue to look at,” Silver told ESPN.

For a more balanced postseason picture, the NBA will also have to consider balancing the regular season schedule, explained Silver.

“Our feeling is, if we were going to seed 1-16, we would need to play a balanced schedule to make it fair for everyone if we were going to seed 1-16 in the playoffs,” Silver said. “It may be that as we continue to experiment with the number of days over which we can schedule 82 games that it will create more of an opportunity for a balanced schedule.”

Silver also acknowledged some of the logistical issues which could stem from a radical playoff restructuring. Picture the Portland Trail Blazers facing the Miami Heat in a first-round series, travelling a gruelling 2,708 miles between locales.

“If we took the existing format, the existing schedule and then we seeded playoffs 1-16, we’d be adding additional travel,” Silver told ESPN. “You would have teams criss-crossing the country in the first round.”

It’s unclear whether any potential change to playoff structuring would do away with allotted conference berths altogether.

The current system, which ensures that the top eight teams in each conference makes the postseason, has the potential to leave otherwise deserving teams out in the cold. In 2014, the 48-34 Phoenix Suns failed to make the playoffs in a stacked Western Conference; the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference that season went to the Atlanta Hawks, who boasted an losing 38-44 record in the regular season.

The NBA has actively looked to improved the on-court product by altering long-standing practices. The upcoming season is scheduled to start approximately 10 days earlier than in years past in an effort to increase natural rest days and disincentivize healthy players sitting out games. Silver has also openly talked about tweaking the number of games in the regular season; the league has operated on an 82-game regular season schedule per team since the 1966-67 season.

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The NBA sent a memo to teams Friday reminding them of the rule to stand for the national anthem, according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, who obtained a copy.

The document indicates that players, coaches, and trainers must stand for both the U.S. and Canadian national anthems and “do not have the discretion to waive” the rule. Violators can be penalized by the league office.

In the memo, deputy commissioner Mark Tatum also offered alternative means of addressing the protest movement that’s become prevalent in the NFL and other leagues. He suggested players and coaches spread a message of unity through a joint pregame address or video tribute.

The memo aligns with commissioner Adam Silver’s message, as he said Thursday he expects players to stand for national anthems.

NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the movement last season when he began kneeing during the national anthem to protest racial injustice and police brutality. He’s since been exiled from the league, but his message lives on, with players, coaches, and owners showing solidarity last weekend.

Over in The Association, many NBA players have spoken out against President Trump, including superstars LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Kevin Durant. The latter two, as well as the rest of the defending champion Golden State Warriors, won’t visit the White House after Trump withdrew their invitation over Curry’s hesitation to attend.

Team owners have been less vocal as to not alienate pro-Trump fans, sources told ESPN. NBPA executive director Michele Roberts has encouraged players to discuss issues that matter to them, and said the union is prepared to respond if the league disciplines players for protesting.

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Fourteen of the NBA’s 30 franchises lost money last season before receiving revenue-sharing cash from the league, and nine of those teams still ended up in the red after that, according to confidential financial records obtained by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Zach Lowe.

The report appears to confirm suspicions that despite record income from national television contracts, some teams are having trouble turning a profit – and not just in small markets.

The nine franchises to reportedly come out in the red, by the league’s accounting, after revenue sharing are: the Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Memphis Grizzlies, Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic, San Antonio Spurs, and Washington Wizards.

The Spurs and Cavaliers may raise eyebrows given their combined runs of success, but it was already widely reported the Cavs lost $40 million during their 2015-16 championship season – due in part to a $54-million luxury tax bill.

At the end of the day, small cities such as Memphis and Milwaukee cannot compare to markets like Los Angeles. However, Brooklyn is part of New York City, and Washington and Atlanta rank as the nation’s seventh- and 10th-largest media markets, respectively.

At least one owner brought up the idea of expansion as a way to increase team income, the report states. An expansion fee – likely over $1 billion per team – would be divvied equally among NBA owners and not subject to the 50-50 basketball-related income split with players under the collective bargaining agreement.

Commissioner Adam Silver is on record as saying expansion is not a priority, although markets such as Seattle may be soon waiting in the wings for a new team. Relocating less profitable franchises is another option, something a handful of richer owners have suggested, according to Windhorst and Lowe.

The chasm between the NBA’s most profitable and weaker franchises will be discussed at the league’s next Board of Governors meeting at the end of September, sources told ESPN.

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The NBA is trying to solve the problem of tanking by taking away the main incentive behind the controversial team-building strategy.

The league is aggressively pursuing lottery reform and could vote changes into legislation before the start of the 2017-18 season, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Competition Committee is expected to vote on points of reform, before sending a formal recommendation to the Board of Governors for the final decision.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver is strongly advocating for draft lottery reform measures to disincentivize tanking by lowering the worst teams’ chances of having the highest odds at the best picks. Proposed changes would also see higher odds for lottery teams making a jump up or down in the draft order.

Smaller markets have opposed lottery reform in the past since a restrictive draft system is their only avenue to recruit elite talent. Free agency typically siphons stars from smaller to bigger destinations, which puts an added premium on drafting.

The current system gives the team with the worst record a 25 percent chance at winning the first overall pick and a 100 percent chance at picking in the top four. Odds for higher picks decrease as records improve, as in there’s an incentive to lose, which is why some teams try as hard as possible to field a noncompetitive team in hopes of maximizing their lottery chances.

Some organizations like the Philadelphia 76ers, Sacramento Kings, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, and New York Knicks have been given high lottery picks many years in a row while making little tangible progress to improve their records.

It’s unclear as to when the changes would be put into place. Given that the league’s 30 teams are all operating on their own timelines, it could potentially be difficult to find an amicable time to implement changes at an agreed time.

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Adam Silver believes that if a team is invited to the White House, it should go.

When the Golden State Warriors won the title last month, they indicated they were undecided on whether they’ll visit President Donald Trump.

Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard C.J. McCollum recently asked the NBA commissioner if he thinks attending those visits should be up to the league, team, or individual players.

“I definitely don’t think it should be a league decision,” Silver replied in the interview for The Players’ Tribune. “I don’t think we should be directing teams or players to go to the White House. It’s my view that if invited, our teams should go to the White House. Regardless of people’s personal political views, I think that these institutions are bigger than any individual politician or any individual elected official.

“And it concerns me that something like going to the White House after winning a championship – something that’s been a great tradition – would become one that is partisan.

“I will say, though, even though I think that teams should make decisions as organizations, that I would also respect an individual player’s decision not to go.”

Stephen Curry, David West, and Andre Iguodala have all been critical of the 45th president, with the latter straight up saying he wouldn’t go to the White House this year. Head coach Steve Kerr has also spoken out against Trump’s principles in the past, but he did say his team should still consider visiting the White House.

When the Dubs won the title in 2015, they visited then-POTUS Barack Obama.

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Seattle could someday have an NBA team again.

In a Players’ Tribune interview with Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard C.J. McCollum last week, commissioner Adam Silver said it’s possible the league will bring a franchise back to the city, but he doesn’t know when.

“I think it’s just a question of when the right time is to seriously start thinking about expansion,” said Silver.

“I don’t want to put a precise timeline on it, but it’s inevitable at some point that we’ll start looking at the growth of franchises. That’s always been the case in this league, and Seattle will no doubt be on a short list of cities we’ll look at,” he added.

The Seattle SuperSonics entered the league in 1967-68 and captured an NBA championship in 1979. The club relocated to Oklahoma City in 2008 and became the Thunder.

Several Sonics greats have been strong proponents of the city regaining a team. Gary Payton said last year that Seattle “deserves” an NBA team and he’d be interested in becoming an owner, while Ray Allen echoed those sentiments in May.

“I still can’t believe that there is no basketball in Seattle,” he wrote in a post on Instagram. “This city is too great not to have a hoops squad. Come on everybody we need to rally and bring the NBA back to Seattle.”

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The Dallas Mavericks may be entering a full-on rebuild, but the franchise likely would’ve treated this year’s offseason much differently had it been in the Eastern Conference, according to team owner Mark Cuban.

“We’re rebuilding, and there’s no question about it,” Cuban told ESPN during Sunday’s summer league game. “If we were in the East, we would not be rebuilding. We’d be handling things completely different.”

After whiffing on several big-name free agents in recent years, the Mavericks have taken a less aggressive approach this offseason, with longtime power forward Dirk Nowitzki serving as the team’s lone free-agent signing.

“I think I’m going to kidnap Adam Silver and not let him out until he moves us to the Eastern Conference,” Cuban joked. “Given where we are, given where the Warriors are, and what’s happening in the Western Conference, it kind of sealed what we have to do.”

Cuban hasn’t been afraid to share his thoughts on the imbalance in the two conferences, recently suggesting that the league should consider tweaking the current playoff format to help solve the disparity.