Adam Silver: NBA age minimum of 20 'would be better for basketball'
NBA commissioner Adam Silver told GQ Magazine that if he could immediately change something about the NBA, he would create a harder salary cap and increase the league's minimum age to 20.
Silver said exorbitant spending by some teams, naming the Brooklyn Nets specifically, is "unhealthy" for the NBA at large and that the "ideal league" would see teams competing on an even playing field in terms of spending ability.
He expanded on the minimum age issue, telling the magazine that a minimum age of 20 would lead to better quality of play, despite the NBPA's opposition.
Silver's comments, from GQ:
[The union's] principal argument is that it's a restriction on players. And as a philosophical argument, I totally understand that. Of course it's a restriction, in the same way a draft is a restriction. But our view is that it would make for a better league. You'd have more skilled players, more mature players. The draft would be better. It would be better for basketball in general. Strong college basketball is great for the NBA. And we know those players are eventually going to come to the NBA, whether they are 19 or 20 or 21.
Silver has said several times since taking over as commissioner that he wants to raise the NBA's minimum age.
The NBA initially raised the minimum age from 18 to 19 in 2005, also mandating that players be at least a year removed from high school. The possibility of raising the minimum to 20 was discussed during 2011 labor negotiations but was ultimately tabled due to concerns of missing more time to the owners' lockout.
Silver also discussed several other topics with GQ, including his opinion on how counterpart Roger Goodell has handled recent NFL controversies, his thoughts on how the Donald Sterling saga may have played out differently if his remarks weren't made public or if a different race was involved, and the possibility of increasing the size of the court or making other similar changes.
The commissioner recently made headlines when he came out in support of legalized sports gambling in the United States.
Silver took over from David Stern as commissioner in February.
- Ben Estes