Adam Silver Rumors
In December, former NBA player, activist and author Etan Thomas came to Talking Stick Resort Arena with Emerald Garner to speak at a Suns players-only meeting. The nine-year NBA veteran also handed out copies of his third published book, “We Matter: Athletes and Activism.” Thomas’ book focuses on the intersection of race and politics in sports. It features interviews with several Basketball Hall of Famers including Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson, countless NBA all-stars and the Suns’ Jamal Crawford.
“I interviewed Adam Silver and asked him if he would punish anybody speaking out,” Thomas said. “He said no and that he values athletes using their voices and values athletes using their platforms, and talked about the history of athletes using their platforms like Bill Russell, Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar), Oscar Robertson.”
Long before Kaepernick and Reid, two of the NBA’s all-time best shooters, Craig Hodges and Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, were frozen out by the NBA for their activism in the 1990s. “I played in the Stern era,” Thomas said. “Adam Silver is not against it, not moving backwards. It’s completely different. Remember that Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf and Craig Hodges happened during the Stern era.”
The league and union have had informal discussions about lowering the age limit, and NBA commissioner Adam Silver is on record saying the current 19-year-old age limit is not working for the league or college basketball. This is the first step in formal negotiations to lower the age limit by the 2022 draft. The issue is collectively bargained between the NBA and NBPA, and both sides need to agree to any rule change.
While being pressed over All-Star Weekend on how to deal with tanking, Silver brought out another soccer concept: relegation. “People who are familiar with the operation of other leagues, you understand now why there’s relegation,” Silver said last Saturday. “Because you pay an enormous price if you’re not competitive. I think, again, for the league and for our teams, there’s that ongoing challenge of whether we can come up with yet a better system.”
Now, let’s be clear: Silver is NOT hinting that NBA teams worth billions could go to the G League. However, there are other ways to “relegate” teams besides dropping them down a division. And this is an area that Silver might be hinting toward when saying the league needs to “come up with a better system.”