Adam Silver Rumors

Adam Silver, the N.B.A. commissioner, attended both of Thursday night’s games, wearing a blue hat and watching from behind plexiglass high above the floor in both the HP Field House (Jazz-Pelicans) and the Arena (Lakers-Clippers) because he has not yet been quarantined and thus cannot be around any of the estimated 1,500 inhabitants of the league’s bubble. Silver, though, did issue a statement affirming that the league will be not be enforcing its longstanding rule, dating to 1981, that mandates all team personnel to stand for the national anthem in a “dignified posture” along a sideline or the foul line. “I respect our teams’ unified act of peaceful protest for social justice and under these unique circumstances will not enforce our longstanding rule requiring standing during the playing of our national anthem,” Silver said.

Fans won’t be allowed in the NBA bubble to cheer their favorite teams on. It is a bubble, after all. But knowing what a difference their support can make (home court advantage, anyone?) the NBA is proposing a few solutions: a tap-to-cheer app and video technology that will teleport their faces court-side from the comfort of their homes. “It’s obviously very different for the players and it’s different for the fans watching at home. I mean, in this sport — like a lot of others — there’s that home court advantage, that six-man. It’s the roar of the crowd, the boos of the crowd,” said NBA commissioner Adam Silver Wednesday on CNN with Wolf Blitzer. “We are trying to replicate that to a certain extent without piping in obvious crowd noise.”
Storyline: Orlando Bubble
On both the NBA and the WNBA app, there is now a tap to cheer option, which would allow fans to virtually cheer for their favorite teams. At the end of the game, the total cheers are tallied and shown on a scoreboard. At the end of the season, the fans from teams with top three total taps will be invited to participate in a virtual roundtable with that team’s players, the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream — which started their season last week — said.
According to the NBA Academy website, the players in these academies range from 14 to 18 years old. Tatum told ESPN that officials in the N.B.A.’s New York office, including Commissioner Adam Silver, were not aware of broad mistreatment of players. In Xinjiang, the N.B.A. “didn’t have the authority or the ability to take direct action against any of these local coaches,” Tatum said.
Adam Silver: It’s been more than four months since we last played NBA basketball. Tonight we restart the season with 22 teams in Orlando and attempt to establish our new normal. And while spectators won’t be there in person, fans remain at the heart of our game. We’re introducing several elements to improve the live game viewing experience, including multiple, new camera angles, enhanced audio of players and coaches, a feature on our NBA app that allows for virtual crowd reactions, customized alternative streams on NBA League Pass with statistical overlays and influencers calling the action, and video boards surrounding the court featuring hundreds of fans watching from home.
Storyline: Orlando Bubble
Adam Silver: At the same time, we recognize that this moment is about more than basketball. It’s an opportunity for NBA players and teams to continue a longstanding tradition of addressing important issues around social justice. These are difficult and challenging times, but the NBA is coming back because sports matter in society. We hope that the return of the NBA – along with other major league sports – will enrich your lives.
Sources say the magnitude of this moment was the focus of a Wednesday conference call between NBA general managers and league officials, with Commissioner Adam Silver confirming that there will be no discipline for anyone who peacefully protests. For approximately an hour, with Silver joined by the NBA’s president of league operations Byron Spruell and senior vice president David Weiss on the call, they discussed the sensitivities surrounding this situation and the question of whether GMs who are already inside the bubble would be permitted to leave the stands and join their teams on the court as a sign of support. Several GMs left the call with the impression that they are free to do as they choose, with anyone who is part of each team’s traveling party inside the bubble permitted to be on the floor.
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., on Wednesday pushed for NBA commissioner Adam Silver to testify before Congress after the league replied to a letter he’d sent earlier this month regarding the protection of players who publicly criticize Communist China. In the letter to Silver, Hawley asked why the league was allowing players to wear certain political messages on their jerseys while disallowing anything critical of the CCP. “Conspicuously missing from the list of approved phrases are any in support of the victims of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), including the people of Hong Kong, whose remaining freedoms are being extinguished by the CCP’s newly-enacted national security law,” he wrote. “Given the NBA’s troubled history of excusing and apologizing for the brutal repression of the Chinese Communist regime, these omissions are striking. Last October, you no doubt recall, you chose to apologize to the CCP after Daryl Morey, General Manager of the Houston Rockets, spoke up on behalf of the Hong Kong protestors.
“It’s not an exact science, because nobody’s ever done this before,” Silver told Good Morning America on ABC. “We have plans in place where we might pause — similar to what baseball’s doing now. Probably if we had any significant spread at all, we’d immediately stop and what we’d try to do is to track and determine where they’re coming from and whether there had been a spread on campus. I would say, ultimately, we would cease completely if we saw that this was spreading around the campus and something more than an isolated case was happening.”
“The word ‘anxious’ would describe how I feel. We’ve been working at this for a long time, but there is a high case rate in Florida, down in Orange County where Orlando is,” Silver said. “We’re seeing what’s happening in baseball with the Marlins, so it’s something we’re continuing to track very closely. Having said that, we have confidence in this protocol that we designed. It’s not actually a sealed ‘bubble’, but everyone that’s on that campus is tested on a daily basis. They’re taking extraordinary precautions. The only time they’re not wearing masks is when they’re actually playing basketball. It’s to the extent that when somebody tests positive, we’ll obviously track them closely. We quarantine people when they first come down. So, we think we have a plan in place that should work.”
In a call with the players back in May, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said money generated from live game attendance could account for up to 40 percent of the league’s annual revenue. Roberts said the two sides are “beginning some very high-level discussions with respect to what the potential issues are,” and said the laborious process that was necessary for the NBA and the union to hash out how to put the bubble together, and then actually go through the process of doing so, “took just about all of the oxygen out of the room.”
Green: You have on your bus Black Lives Matter. As a Canadian team, it doesn’t directly impact your team, because you’re in an entire different country. What made you guys take the stand and put it on your bus? I think one of 22 teams that actually went through with it. Where did that idea come from, and why did you guys feel the need to push that through? Ujiri: Thanks, Draymond. You’ve been unbelieve on this and what you’re speaking on, and I think the league is proud of you. For us, we said we were going to use the bubble as a statement, right? We said we’re going to use this place as a platform. And we thought that, coming in here, you have to make a statement. You have to, for me, you have to create awareness. What you guys are doing over there is creating awareness. You’re talking about this. And we have to continue to do that. And we thought, what greater way than to ride through Florida for three hours and show people? We know what’s going on in the country, and we’re heading to the bubble.
Ujiri: And what is going on here, what Adam Silver has done here to get the league back, we’re excited about that. But there’s something on our minds, too. And we wanted to show people that, as we come in – not just the Toronto Raptors, we represent the NBA – that there’s something that’s on the minds of all the players and all the teams.
Storyline: Social Justice Messages
Players, coaches and team personnel are not allowed to leave the campus without authorization and will live here for a minimum of six weeks. For the two teams that reach the N.B.A. finals, that stay will last until mid-October — provided the virus does not pierce the bubble. “It requires significant sacrifice from our players,” Adam Silver, the N.B.A. commissioner, said in a phone interview from his home in the New York metropolitan area.
Storyline: Orlando Bubble
The N.B.A. has not yet said how it would handle an outbreak on campus as the season resumes, but the bubble appears to be holding. The league announced that of the 346 players tested daily for the coronavirus from July 13 to 19, none tested positive for the virus. A few notable players have left, but the departures have been attributed to urgent personal matters or injuries. “From my standpoint, it’s going very well, and I’m cautiously optimistic that we’re on the right track,” said Silver, the commissioner, who is scheduled to make his first appearance on campus this week. “But I also recognize what we’re doing has not been done before, and the competition is just beginning. The real test will come when players are commingling, playing basketball without masks and without physical distancing.”
The NBA has terminated its relationship with a Chinese-based basketball academy located in the controversial region of Xinjiang, according to a letter league executives sent to a U.S. senator. Sports Illustrated has obtained a copy of the letter, sent on Tuesday to Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.). The note was a response to a June 30th letter Blackburn penned to NBA commissioner Adam Silver over her concerns regarding the league’s relationship with the communist country. In the NBA’s response, Mark Tatum, the association’s deputy commissioner and chief operating officer, answers three questions that Blackburn posed in her June letter, including one about the operation of a training center in Xinjiang, known as one of the world’s worst humanitarian zones.
The NBA has terminated its relationship with a Chinese-based basketball academy located in the controversial region of Xinjiang, according to a letter league executives sent to a U.S. senator. Sports Illustrated has obtained a copy of the letter, sent on Tuesday to Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.). The note was a response to a June 30th letter Blackburn penned to NBA commissioner Adam Silver over her concerns regarding the league’s relationship with the communist country.
In the NBA’s response, Mark Tatum, the association’s deputy commissioner and chief operating officer, answers three questions that Blackburn posed in her June letter, including one about the operation of a training center in Xinjiang, known as one of the world’s worst humanitarian zones. “The NBA has had no involvement with the Xinjiang basketball academy for more than a year, and the relationship has been terminated,” Tatum wrote in a one-sentence response to the senator’s question.
“It is inconceivable and disrespectful for Commissioner Silver to sidestep an issue that requires real leadership,” Blackburn says in the statement. “The reply from Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum lacks the appropriate concern and responsibility that should accompany congressional correspondence. These technical answers do not address the larger questions about whether there is a conflict between their financial decisions and professed values.”
Rockets guard Austin Rivers discussed the stream of players joining the fight against injustice on Monday. Rivers attributed the increased efforts to guidance and support from the NBA’s top players, as well as commissioner Adam Silver. “In light of everything’s that happened for the bad, I think people have seen how much control us players really do have,” Rivers told the media in a Zoom call on Monday. “And that goes to our leaders and our players and Adam Silver.”
Teams have also been secretive about which players are even in the bubble. “I would like to know who is actually freaking there,” said Windhorst. “The league, quite frankly, has been acting a fascist, no, I’m not going to say that. The league, quite frankly, has been acting completely opaquely. I don’t understand why. I understand if a player doesn’t want to have it known he has contracted the virus, or if he has to leave, why he has to leave. That is fine. But it is completely reasonable, under the circumstances that we have, whether you could say whether a player is there or not. For the last two weeks, we have not been able to find that out. And it’s gotten even tougher. Somebody has to call the league on it and that somebody is going to me. I’ll be watching very closely how much is available.”
Storyline: Orlando Bubble
Marc Stein: According to the rules in the N.B.A.’s corner of Disney World, no one is allowed inside the 314-square-foot room I am restricted to through Sunday. So I slid a chair up to the doorway to receive a swab of each nostril and my throat. The sticks were snapped and placed in a tube, then stored in a crate to take back to the lab. The swabs, roughly five hours after I checked in, took less than a minute. I took my second coronavirus test Monday night, nearly 24 hours later, even before I had a result confirmed from the first. But the end goal remains unchanged: I need a week’s worth of negative results from daily tests to gain full entry into what everyone refers to as the N.B.A. bubble — even though league officials, as Commissioner Adam Silver put it last week, acknowledge that it is better described as a campus because it is by no means “hermetically sealed.”
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., suggested Monday he would support a subpoena of NBA commissioner Adam Silver to investigate the league’s relationship with China. Hawley expressed concern that the NBA is allowing players to wear preapproved social justice cause messages on their jerseys for causes such as Black Lives Matter but does not allow for messages relating to China or supporting law enforcement. He called a Senate Judiciary committee subpoena of Silver “a great idea.”
U.S. Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri, in a letter to NBA commissioner Adam Silver on Friday, wrote that the league’s policy on social injustice messages “appears to stop at the edge of your corporate sponsors’ sensibilities,” especially when it comes to matters involving China and support of the United States military and law enforcement personnel. In the letter, Hawley said Silver has been “deepening the NBA’s ties to the CCP [Chinese Communist Party]” since Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s tweet in support of anti-government protesters in Hong Kong in October.
3 weeks ago via ESPN
Hawley wrote an open letter to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver on Friday criticizing the league’s relationship with China and calling on the league to allow messages in support of police, the military and Hong Kong protesters on player jerseys. The NBA is allowing players taking part in the season’s restart to wear pre-approved messages in support of social justice on their nameplates in place of their last names. Responding to a press release emailed to him from Hawley’s office regarding the letter, Wojnarowski, ESPN’s chief NBA news-breaker, responded back: “(Expletive) you.” Hawley took the response by “Woj” public, prompting an apology from Wojnarowski.
Storyline: Adrian Wojnarowski Suspension
While it’s true that the NBA has a likely ally in Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, you never quite know where the political winds might shift. A couple of phone calls shuts the NBA’s business down, as so many businesses have been shut down around the country. I had Henry Abbott of TrueHoop on my podcast and he made a point that few others have made: Silver has been fairly politically neutral of late, despite his reputation as the progressive commissioner. The theory Abbott espoused was that this has something to do with the NBA needing allies in government to make this bubble a reality. Many NBA players (and fans) might hate President Donald Trump, but Silver can’t afford to be seen as a Trump enemy right now. As mentioned before, the federal government has the power to undermine the NBA’s operation.
Storyline: Orlando Bubble
In a virtual interview with Fortune Brainstorm Health, Silver said the NBA expects more positive coronavirus cases to pop up as teams arrive to the NBA campus at Walt Disney World resort this week. But once teams arrive, all personnel will be tested and must quarantine for at least two days. “We won’t be surprised when they first come down to Orlando if we have some additional players test positive,” Silver told Fortune Brainstorm Health. “What would be most concerning is once players enter this campus and then go through our quarantine period, then if they were to test positive or if we were to have any positive tests, we would know we would have an issue.” “… We would know that there’s in essence a hole in our bubble or that our quarantine or our campus is not working in some way,” Silver added later. “So that would be very concerning.”
Storyline: Coronavirus
Silver said the NBA’s campus with daily testing and guidance from medical experts is “as protected as possible from the environment around us.” “So on paper, and dealing with our experts, this should work,” Silver said. “But we shall see. I’m confident based on the positive cases we are seeing from our players and the general public around the country that it will be safer on this campus than off this campus in part because we are going to be doing daily testing. But again this virus has humbled many so I am not going to express any higher level of confidence than we are following the protocols and we hope it works as we designed it.”