Adam Silver, who has been the NBA commissioner since 2014, has handled many difficult situations affecting the NBA in a manner that should have him receive an award for his work. Of course, no one can replace David Stern and what he did for the NBA but Silver has done a fantastic job in continuing to grow the league and globalizing the game. He has made some tough decisions that have ultimately made positive impacts for everyone involved. Let’s look at what he has done in the past 6 months that have greatly affected the NBA.
Daryl Morey, general manager of the Houston Rockets, tweeted out on October 4th, 2019 showing support for Hong Kong as there were a number of protests and rising tensions between China and Hong Kong. This lead to a multitude of actions by the CBA (Chinese Basketball Association) where they completely cut ties with the Houston Rockets and the rest of the NBA
It’s important to keep in mind that Yao Ming, a former Chinese NBA All-star, played for the Rockets between 2002 and 2011 and he is the current president of the CBA. This resulted in even higher tension between the NBA and China. A number of people called for him to be fired as a result of this political tweet.
Adam Silver later released a statement saying:
“We recognize that the views expressed by Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey have deeply offended many of our friends and fans in China, which is regrettable. While Daryl has made it clear that his tweet does not represent the Rockets or the NBA, the values of the league support individuals’ educating themselves and sharing their views on matters important to them. We have great respect for the history and culture of China and hope that sports and the NBA can be used as a unifying force to bridge cultural divides and bring people together.”Adam Silver
This was a reasonable response that did not completely resolve tensions but at least made it clear that the league will always be supporting its workers and his statement showed their willingness to allow freedom of speech and not abandon it at this time.
The NBA has always supported players and team staff members sharing their political views and Silver stood to his values even though they were immensely negatively impacted due to this tweet as China essentially stopped the NBA viewership in the country.
Kobe Bryant and David Stern Tragic Deaths
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Kobe Bryant, the ever-popular LA Laker, and David Stern, commissioner of the NBA for 30 years, passed away on January 26th, 2020 and January 1st, 2020. These people were two of the most influential figures in NBA history.
David Stern was the man who brought the NBA into the global spotlight, expanding the game beyond its borders. Kobe Bryant was the person who made it to the big leagues because of his relentless effort on a daily basis and inspiring others to work hard to achieve their dreams, with this mentality famously being nicknamed Mamba Mentality.
The tragic deaths of both these figures within such a short period of time rocked the sports world to its core with players and people around the globe paying tribute to Kobe and Stern.
He released statements for both deaths, acknowledging their huge impact on the game of basketball and how they significantly contributed to the game’s history.
He had teams wear a black stripe for on their jerseys in honour of David Stern and had Laker games cancelled and an award named in honour of Kobe.
We made these unbelievable gestures en route to dealing with these tragic deaths.
Restructured The All-Star Game
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The all-star game had become somewhat of a boring affair between the NBA’s best players where nobody ever tried because there wasn’t much playing for and also to reduce the risk of injury in a meaningless game. This wasn’t providing fans with the star-studded, competitive game they were always hoping to see.
This year, Chris Paul, who is the head of the NBPA (National Basketball Players’ Association), brought this issue into the light and came up with a solution to fix the problem. Adam Silver, the good commissioner he is, was always open to new ideas to improve all aspects of the league and the game and approved of the idea. He didn’t let pride get in the way of making the decision. He also didn’t mind a change as he had been looking at the situation himself and looking for a way to fix it.
The all-star game turned out to be a success and was one of the best all-star games in recent memory. Adam Silver had helped revive this part of the season and helped motivate the players to actually play during the game while adding an incentive that would have players and the league contribute to a good cause.
The Coronavirus also known as COVID-19
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The recent global pandemic has caused fear in many people. With Rudy Gobert testing positive for the coronavirus, Adam silver had to take swift action to help slow the spread of the virus.
Before he was tested positive, Silver had started taking multiple measures to help stop the spread while continuing to play basketball with the plan being that fans would not be allowed in the arena to witness the match but would rather have to watch it on television or any other piece of technology. Before this plan was even able to be implemented, Gobert tested positive.
This put the commissioner in a tough situation where he was left with no choice but to suspend the season for at least 30 days. He didn’t try to push it and increase the risk of other players and people being infected. He did not think about the financial complications that would surface because of this action. He cared about the safety and wellness of his players and the people and suspended the season no matter the consequences that would come with it.
He handled the situation with a calm demeanour and did what was best for the league.