HoopsHype Adam Silver rumors

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April 17, 2015 Updates
April 13, 2015 Updates

PepsiCo has signed a five-year NBA deal, making it one of the league’s largest sponsors and ending a 29-year relationship between Coke and the NBA. Sports Business Daily

April 10, 2015 Updates

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is intrigued by the model of legalized sports betting surrounding the English Premier League and other soccer leagues abroad, which “don’t participate by law in the handling of sports betting” but reap the rewards of encouraging it. He indicated that applying the system to the NBA, if legal, would have benefits. The Fields of Green

The commissioner pointed to the growing trend of proposition bets, where bettors are given in-game opportunities for “immediate transactions” with “instantaneous odds,” as a major factor in the development of an illegal U.S. sports betting market that he estimated at $400 billion. Though that number is probably lower – between $88 billion and $380 billion by some estimates – the prevalence of prop bets cannot be denied: According to Silver, 80 percent of sports betting in Europe is on “in-play” action. The Fields of Green

Heat officials learned of the story via news reports, and were dumbfounded that the league would not have first spoken, at least as a courtesy, to the one franchise actually affected by any NBA/Cuba relationship. Heat owner Micky Arison and club president Pat Riley declined a Miami Herald interview request Wednesday, but another team executive told us, “The NBA never consulted with us. This was undertaken unilaterally. The minute we found out we registered our vehement objection to the league office. Neither the Heat nor any personnel will be participating.” Miami Herald

And now the franchise deals with an NBA/Cuba situation a different Heat source said “seems political.” Longtime former NBA commissioner David Stern was extremely active in Democratic politics and a major financial contributor throughout his years in office. New commissioner Adam Silver also was an ardent early supporter of Obama and has donated to the party — the political leanings at the highest level of the NBA perhaps suggesting a climate that would lead to a goodwill tour as a show of support for Obama’s new policy of thawing relations with Cuba. The four-day event could be a precursor to further league involvement with Cuba, such as exhibition games scheduled there. Miami Herald

Cruise stock prices spiked upward when Obama announced his thawing policy toward Cuba. People like Arison immediately imagined their majestic ships flowing lucratively in and out of Cuban ports, ferrying monied tourists eager to explore the exotic island so near yet so off-limits for so long. That could be another delicate spot for Arison, the idea that increasingly normalized relations with Cuba could be very good for Carnival and his already enormous bank account – but could also lead many Heat fans to angrily consider those profits to be Castro-dirty. Miami Herald

April 8, 2015 Updates
March 20, 2015 Updates

Silver, who was in Houston on Thursday for the Rockets’ championship team reunion and celebration, said uncertainty about the impact of the dramatic increase in the salary cap from $63 million to an estimated $90 million in the summer of 2016 would make it difficult to change the lottery system. “A new wrinkle is the fact that we’re not going to have smoothing and so this is a new issue for the league office and the teams,” Silver said in his first comment about the relationship of the union decision and the draft lottery revisions. “There’s clearly a consensus that we need to change and make an adjustment to existing draft lottery- the majority of teams voted for that last board meeting. It just requires a super majority. Houston Chronicle

March 17, 2015 Updates

Naturally, there is a concern that this dreamy idea would only lead to nightmare scenarios: Miami against Portland in the first round, perhaps, with Golden State in the second round. It would create a difficult travel schedule, especially in 2-2-1-1-1 seven-game series formats. Travel is much easier and luxurious for teams with chartered flights, but Silver is "focused on the parade of horribles you keep hearing." "We have to look at that as well and see statistically — what's the likelihood of that happening," Silver said. "But it's a balance. There will be no perfect solution here." That cross-country travel is a concern. Not only during the playoffs but during the regular season. Silver said any discussion of a difference playoff system would include discussion of a more balanced schedule were teams "roughly played each other the same amount of times." USA Today Sports

March 16, 2015 Updates

However, not once during Silver's whirlwind tour — that also included a luncheon at the local rotary club — did the topic of a potential NBA work stoppage in 2017 arise in conversation. "Believe it or not — I can't speak for the union or anything — but it's not something I'm talking to teams about yet," Silver said. "I think it's premature." Recently, the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) made the expected decision to reject the league's proposal to smooth out the rising salary cap. The NBA's new media rights deals, worth more than $2.6 billion per year, are expected to take form in the 2016-17 season as well as increase the salary cap. By "smoothing," the league intended to avoid a dramatic spike in the cap in 2016-17 and progressively spread the money over the first few years of the new TV deal. Indianapolis Star

Additionally, Silver, who recently completed his first year as commissioner, stated his next focus will be finding ways to improve the health and welfare of players, specifically mentioning the need to examine scheduling of back-to-back games and four games in five nights. However, Silver does not envision a change in the 82-game schedule. "I'm not looking to reduce the length of the season," Silver said. "It's no secret, it's an economic issue for the league and the players if we were to cut the number of games in a season and I don't think that's the issue. Frankly, as I travel, people only want more NBA, not less NBA. We're going to look at everything but to me, in the first instance, we've got to look at how we can do a better job scheduling within the existing number of dates," Silver continued. "Then beyond that, should we be starting a little bit earlier? Can we go a little bit later? Those are also the kinds of things we can look at to try to stretch the season out a little bit." Indianapolis Star

March 13, 2015 Updates

The inability of the NBA and NBPA to agree on a strategy for incorporating TV money follows other signs of a fraying relationship between league and NBPA leaders. Roberts, for instance, has complained about players being artificially “deflated” by restrictions on salaries while various players have taken critical notice of the Los Angeles Clippers selling for $2 billion and the Atlanta Hawks likely to sell for over $800 million. The rise of Paul and James as NBPA leaders also invites concern that they will prioritize the financial interests of superstars over other players. The NBA, meanwhile, has independently-audited financial records to show a number of teams are losing money. Moreover, the league’s sound business strategy on television and international growth—not to mention NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s adroit handling of the Donald Sterling crisis—appear to have benefited players as much as owners. Despite these achievements, tensions between the NBA and NBPA seem to be rising. Sports Illustrated

March 11, 2015 Updates

Arn Tellem With the business booming by all accounts, why would the NBA continue to ignore its own development league? It’s not like the league lacks innovative leadership right now. Commissioner Adam Silver and Players Association executive director Michele Roberts have proven to be progressive thinkers who are open to new ideas. They know the world of college sports has been upended by litigation — not just Ed O’Bannon’s antitrust suit against the NCAA, but the Northwestern University athlete unionization case as well. If the amateur landscape is being reshaped, then why wait to follow the NCAA’s lead? The NBA should act preemptively in what, down the line, will be in its own best interests. The NCAA would then be obliged to adapt some of its more draconian rules to the 21st-century game, making the system more balanced and player-friendly. At the moment, the NBA is abetting the NCAA. It should be the other way around. Grantland

From a player agent’s perspective, Europe offers a bigger immediate payoff. Normally, agents don’t take commissions on D-League contracts and charge second-rounders 2 percent. In the European leagues, the standard 10 percent cut is generally split between the American and European agents. But the best agents help their clients get better in the hope that the improvement will result in a long-term NBA career. If your client is rewarded, you will be, too. To be one of the 60 annual draftees should be an honor, not a burden. Yet it can be downright traumatic for a prospect to get selected late in the final round and then realize his new “team” has no intention of giving him a guarantee (and that he likely must play professionally out of the country). It’s in both the player’s and the league’s interests for him to mature on his own home turf. Grantland

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