NBA commissioner Adam Silver talks league expansion, potential All-NBA changes ahead of Finals

NBA commissioner Adam Silver talks league expansion, potential All-NBA changes ahead of Finals

Ahead of Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Finals, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver spoke with members of the media during his annual State of the League address and touched on several important topics. From league expansion, potential changes to All-NBA voting and possible adjustments to the NBA schedule, Silver offered some insight into the future of the NBA and the direction we could see the league going. forward.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the highlights from Silver’s address.

NBA expansion plans

It’s been a hot topic around the league for several years, and there have been reports suggesting that if the NBA were to grow, the two cities it would look at would be Seattle and Las Vegas. It was also reported that the league look for $2.5 billion fee each for two expansion teams to add, quite an expensive number to create a new franchise. However, Silver said Thursday night that expansion isn’t something the league is focused on right now.

“That talk is not true,” Silver said. “As I’ve said before, at some point this league is invariably going to expand, but we’re not discussing that right now. One of the factors for expansion is the potential dilution of talent As I said before, I find it remarkable that when you have the second most played sport in the world after football, tens of millions of young men are playing this game, and then you have the top 450 in world in this league, that there are a few who even separate themselves among these 450s as the best of the best, but then there is a drop, a drop in talent after that.

“So the expansion creates some dilution. And even adding around 30 more players who are roughly comparable, there’s still only a limited number of really top-tier super talents. That’s something on the minds of other teams as we think about expansion. But these are wonderful markets. We’ll think about that at some point, but there’s no specific timeline at the moment.

Potential All-NBA Voting Changes

There has been controversy for years over how All-NBA selections are decided, and this season has been no different. While back-to-back MVP winner Nikola Jokic was named to the first team, award runner-up Joel Embiid was placed in the second team, solely due to the positional requirement attached to All-NBA voting. . The positional component of All-NBA voting was deemed outdated as the league moved to a more positionless style of play. At this point, Silver said the league considered removing position designations for All-NBA.

“I think a lot of thinking is going on about whether we should just – really, you, the way it works now, the media – should just pick the best players rather than pick by position” , Silver said. “I think we’re a league that’s moved more and more towards positionless basketball, and the current system can lead to inequities depending on the chance of your position. So that’s something we’re looking at. That’s something we’ll be discussing with the Players Association because it impacts players’ incentives and contracts, and it also has, you know, deep significance for their legacy, so we’re going to look at these things.

Regarding Silver’s point about All-NBA being tied to contract incentives, players have expressed concerns about this in the past, and that members of the media are the ones who essentially control how much money they can earn based on their votes. Silver said the league and the Players’ Association felt that was the best way to handle those incentives, and since the media is the decision maker, it’s the least biased way to approach the vote.

“Right now we’ve agreed with the Players Association to use these designations to trigger certain bonuses in player contracts, frankly because we couldn’t come up with a better way that would seem objective to everyone involved,” Silver said. “I think we all recognize that to do it based on pure statistics or just using analytics, there would be an injustice there because it doesn’t pick up the intangibles. I certainly don’t think anyone wants the office of the league to do it. And we offered this proxy for the media to do it.

“I understand from a player’s perspective, saying, ‘I can’t believe the media was given this power over me. I will say that when you have a hundred media members on the panel, it seems to work. We’ll discuss this with the players and sit down again and see if there’s a better way to do this.

On the Trail Blazers reportedly for sale

A surprising development was reported on Thursday when it was announced that Nike founder Phil Knight and Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Alan Smolinisky had made an offer north of $2 billion to buy the Portland Trail Blazers . Former Blazers owner Paul Allen died in 2018, and a trust led by Allen’s sister Jody has controlled and operated the team ever since. After news broke that Knight and Smolinisky had made an offer for the team, the current Blazers owner issued a statement saying the team is currently not for sale. Although Silver didn’t know all the details of the announced sale, he said the Blazers would eventually sell out.

“I don’t know all the details of the Paul Allen trust, what I understand is that Jody Allen, who is Paul Allen’s sister, is the estate trustee, and at some point, the team will be sold,” Silver said. “I don’t have an idea of ​​when exactly, but at some point it will be for sale. It’s a hugely complex area, and even though it’s been several years [since Paul’s death], these things can take time. That said, everyone has an interest in a smooth transition. I think Jody has been a great steward of the team in the meantime. Portland has been a wonderful community for the NBA, and my preference would be for the team to stay in Portland as part of this process.”

NBA Schedule Changes

The NBA has toyed with multiple ways to alter the schedule for years. When the league restarted after a shutdown in the summer of 2020, we got to see what it would be like to have NBA games played over the summer. Last season, the league cut 10 games from the schedule and started Christmas week to give players some rest after the Orlando bubble. However, the league returned to its regular schedule this season with no noticeable change. While some players would like to see a reduction in games in order to limit the increase in injuries that we have seen, if a change were to occur, it could take the form of an in-season tournament.

“I think the way we’re trying to look at it now is instead of reducing the number of games, we think from a competitive point of view, is there a way to improve what for many of people, is a long regular season,” Silver said. “And one of the ways we’re looking at doing that is an in-season tournament. Something that we talk about a lot. We’re not there yet. We’re still talking to our competition committee, to our team governors, to the players Association, to see if there’s a way throughout the season to create more meaningful games, more important games, potentially a tournament that would arguably replace some of the games in the regular season but which would be more meaningful.”

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