Posts Tagged ‘Adam Silver’

Basketball Hall of Famer Dan Issel has been named president of “NBA 2 Louisville,” an investment group seeking to bring an expansion team to Kentucky’s largest city.

“Commissioner (Adam) Silver said the NBA would be flattered that Louisville wanted a team,” Issel said, according to the Courier Journal’s Tim Sullivan. “He said right now there is no timetable for expansion. That will be their stance until they start accepting applications … if and when they accept applications, we want to be on the top of the pile.”

The NBA has not prioritized expansion, but there could be a market opening with Seattle filing NHL expansion papers this week after plans for a retrofitted arena were approved. The Pacific Northwest metropolis has been a candidate to bring a pro basketball team back since the Sonics left to become the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2008.

Louisville has long been a college basketball hotbed thanks to the success of the Cardinals‘ program, prior to recent turmoil. Issel was a college standout at Kentucky and a star – and later coach of – the Denver Nuggets.

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Count Jay-Z among the fans of NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

The hip-hop mogul cited Silver’s leadership as one reason the NBA seems to provide more opportunities for players to be politically active than the NFL.

“It’s 12 people on a team. In football you have 53 people,” the rapper told the New York Times Magazine’s Dean Baquet. “So it’s harder to get 53 people thinking the same thing. It’s easier to have a conversation to get 12 people on the same page. Two, (the NBA has) a great commissioner who’s really open. And, you know, supports (the players).”

Silver’s stewardship of the NBA had an auspicious beginning in 2014 when he banned former Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life after decades of racism allegations came to a head in a leaked audiotape. Last year, the league stripped Charlotte of the 2017 All-Star weekend in the wake of North Carolina’s exclusionary HB2 law – with the event since restored for 2019 after the state made legal amendments.

“You feel like, you know, when you have someone behind you that really believes in what’s right, it motivates you to do the right thing,” Jay-Z said. “I think those two factors show why (the NBA is) much further along.”

While no NBA player has attempted to kneel during the national anthem, as widely seen in the NFL, Silver is on record saying he expects players to stand – a requirement that’s been in the league rules for decades.

Jay-Z once owned a tiny 0.15 percent of the Brooklyn Nets – something that reportedly spawned an NBA rule requiring a minimum ownership stake of 1 percent. His wife, Beyonce, was rumored as a potential buyer for her hometownHouston Rockets prior to Tilman Fertitta’s purchase of the team in September.

The NBA is reportedly set to announce the opening of a new development academy in Mexico City next month, according to a report by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.

“NBA Academy Latin America” will be focused on youth development for local talent and could open the door to a G-League team or even NBA expansion down the road.

The NBA currently has six academies located in China, India, Australia, and Senegal. The elite training centers are viewed as a critical opportunity to increase the league’s profile and that of the sport as a whole in countries which lack the proper infrastructure for athlete development of homegrown talent.

Few North American metropolises can rival Mexico City’s sheer population. If basketball can begin to steal some of the spotlight from traditionally popular sports in Mexico, like soccer and baseball, it stands to reason the league would look to tap into that market on a permanent basis.

“In terms of a franchise here in Mexico City, it is something to look at,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said last January. “Obviously, it’s an incredible market with over 20 million people, the largest market in North America and, while we have no immediate plans to expand, one of the things that we look at, it’s whether expanding will be additive to the league as a whole and clearly coming to Mexico City, not just because the population of the city but as a gateway to the rest of Latin America could potentially be very important for the league.”

Since the 2014-15, the NBA has played four regular-season games in Mexico City. Next month, the Brooklyn Nets will play two games south of the border, taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder on Dec. 7 and the Miami Heat on Dec. 9.

 
 

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.