NBA commissioner Adam Silver on first year: 'Eventful, unexpected'
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver described his first year on the job as “eventful” in a wide-ranging interview with USA Today.
Silver took over for longtime league commissioner David Stern on Feb. 1, 2014.
Just months into his tenure, Silver had to decide what to do with now-former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who was caught on an audio recording making a number of racist comments.
Silver banned Sterling for life, fined him $2.5 million and forced the longtime owner to sell the franchise. Former Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer subsequently bought the Clippers for $2 billion.
"I feel I was trained — and not trained to deal with that specific matter — to deal with crisis situations in all aspects: the substance of them, how to deal with the legal issues, how to deal with the communications issues," Silver told USA Today.
Silver also said that the league’s current collective bargaining agreement is working.
Almost two-thirds of the teams report turning a profit, and player salaries will continue to increase due to the league’s new television deal, which is worth a reported $2.66 billion per year. That deal commences at the start of the 2016-17 season.
"I will point out the deal is far from everything we wanted in collective bargaining," he said. "We compromised. The players association compromised. My sense is that the deal is working as we hoped it would. We'll continue looking at it, as I'm sure the union is as well."
Silver also said that a restructured playoff format won't happen before the 2016-17 season at the earliest.
"There are some important logistic issues we need to examine in terms of travel (and schedules). It's fair to say it's something that requires a very strong examination,” Silver told USA Today.
Silver also said that he has considered ideas for shortening games and overhauling the draft process.
- Scooby Axson