Ken Berger: Adam Silver on BOG meeting: “There was a sense throughout the room that the league is in great shape and the CBA is working.”
Wearable tech being allowed in NBA games is inching closer to becoming a reality. According to league sources, the NBA players union will be meeting on Tuesday with Whoop, a wearable tech company that recently made headlines after Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Matthew Dellavedova illegally wore its biotracker wristband in games during almost all of March. On March 31, the league office was made aware of Dellavedova’s wristband and informed the Cavs that Dellavedova could not wear the banned device in games. The team, nor Dellavedova, received a fine or suspension; Dellavedova has since stopped wearing it.
On Monday, Whoop’s co-founder and CEO Will Ahmed would not confirm the upcoming meeting with the union, but issued a statement to ESPN regarding the legality of its device in American professional sports leagues. “We respect the privacy of all our clients and won’t speak to our relationships with them. I think continuous monitoring is a new category that the leagues are right to carefully explore. At Whoop, we strive to empower athletes continuously. Monitoring strain during games is one piece of that equation and we look forward to working with all the professional leagues to empower athletes to better understand their bodies. To be clear, Whoop is a valuable asset independent of in game wear because of our activity, sleep and recovery analysis. But let’s not deprive athletes of in game analysis. It’s their careers at stake and data is not steroids.”
The owners and players’ union have also agreed to shorten the free agent moratorium, i.e. the “DeAndre Jordan Rule” from 10 days to five. Jordan infamously committed to signing with the Mavericks last summer before deciding to return to the Clippers during the 10-day window. “I think that is an indication of the level of respect, the level of trust, that we’re building with the Players Association, with Michele Roberts, who’s the relatively new executive director, with Chris Paul, who’s the president of the union, and that was one of those issues where we sat down and we said, both of us, that it truly can be a win-win if we shorten that period,” said Silver. “We still can accomplish what we think is necessary by having a moratorium, but it didn’t need to be 10 days or the number of days that was built into the collective bargaining agreement. “I think that’s how we should be able to conduct business with partners, where we sit down and everybody listens to both sides of the issues and tries to work through things behind closed doors for the betterment of the game.”