NBA's Silver Offers Creative Ideas 'Because Fans Are Stuck and Need Entertainment'

Mike Fisher

DALLAS - A charity game? A fund-raising event? Something? Anything?

"People are stuck at home and they need a diversion and they need to be entertained," NBA commissioner Adam Silver recently said in an interview with ESPN's Rachel Nichols. "To the extent we were the first to shut our league down, (we'll examine) to what extent can we be a first mover to restart our economy."

Silver said that the league has discussed ideas like hosting a charity game or a similar fundraising event. The commissioner mentioned the idea of making certain the involved players are medically cleared to participate (which to us sounds like a trickier concept than it might seem).

Silver also mentioned the possibilities involved in the NBA resuming play at some point, whether it be in a conventional manner - think 20,000 people at the AAC watching the Dallas Mavericks - or in the much-discussed scenario in which the two teams assemble to oppose each other in games, but with no fans present.

Mavs owner Mark Cuban has suggested the latter concept could be pulled off with games possibly beginning in "mid-May.''

“No one has perfect information right now, and so all decisions are tough,'' Cuban recently said. "But, you know, if I had to guess based off the people I’ve talked to at the CDC and other places, I would say that the over/under would be June 1, and I’m taking the under.”

We're told the NBA has discussed the idea of staging such games in venues far smaller than the likes of the AAC due to the weird optics involved in empty seats. (We'd submit that "optics'' there are relatively unimportant; Mavs fans would, we think, provide this team with all-time-high viewership under any "background'' circumstances.)

When, Commissioner Silver, might any of this occur?

"When public health officials give us the OK," Silver said.

Silver is clearly proud that the NBA was an industry leader in opting to shut things down - "I think it got a lot of people's attention," he said - and wants to be a leader in the re-start, too.