NEW YORK CITY – NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Wednesday that while there was no specific discussion of the upcoming arbitration between Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers, he said his greater concern was “the trend when star players are not fully involved. games, ”and hopes the league and the National Basketball Association will be able to resolve this.
“I’m not standing here and saying I have a great solution,” Silver told a news conference in central Manhattan after a two-day Board meeting this week. “Part of the problem is injuries. One of the things we’ve focused on in the league office, and we’re spending – we’ve started spending a lot of time on the pre-pandemic – are there things we can do in terms of sharing information, resources across the league?” to improve best practices, rehabilitation?
“Another way we can achieve this, in terms of player participation, is to create other incentives. In my opinion, the game tournament was the beginning of creating new incentives for teams to stay competitive and fight for playoff positions. Maybe through seasonal tournaments and changes in the format where we can achieve that. ”
Silver said he even has the option to change the schedule from 82 games. Although he hinted at this in earlier parts of his response, he did little to hide his desire to create an in-season tournament, and said on Wednesday that he was pleased with the way the game tournament went during the last two seasons since its introduction.
“I’ve also said in the past that if we have too many games, we should also look at it,” Silver said. “It’s something when we sit down and look at new media deals and a new collective agreement, we’ll study. There were no punches on the table or anything like that. From my conversations with the players, they also understand that’s a problem. The style of play has changed. view of the impact on their bodies. I think we need to constantly evaluate and look at the market in the future and say what is the best way to present our product and during what season? “
Adrian Winorowski, Bobby Marx and Ramona Shelburn of ESPN reported last weekend that Simmons had filed a complaint to challenge the nearly $ 20 million salary detained by him 76ers this season.
The complaint – which will now be submitted to arbitration – could have more serious consequences for the league amid future mental health problems and NBA contracts.
Silver said the league would not be directly involved in such arbitration and would stay away during the trial.
Other topics touched upon by Silver included:
* Silver said that although the anti-LGBTQ + law was passed recently in Utah, the NBA has not discussed moving the All-Star Game next year and does not intend to do so.
Asked what the difference is between this decision and the decision to postpone the Charlotte All-Star Game a few years ago compared to a similar bill, Silver replied: “Every situation is unique. In the case of 2017 and HB2 in North Carolina we thought we had the opportunity directly influence this law by working with the wider business community.
“Our collective opinion is that we can continue to work in Utah, and frankly, we don’t want to be in that position when we’re being chased from state to state across the country,” he said. “Times have changed. Now the country is facing different issues than in 2017. Personally, I do not like this trend. We also as a league remember that we are looking for opportunities to unite people, not divide them.
“I would just say I have a lot of respect [Jazz owner] Ryan Smith. I think he opposed this bill. We together with him opposed this bill. But we also want to be realistic in terms of the impact we can have. In the case of HB2 in North Carolina, I think it was our collective opinion, we are working with the Hornets, that we can influence this legislation. I think that in the case of what is happening in Utah now, this bill has been established. “
* Asked if the investigation into the behavior of Phoenix Suns owner Robert Surver was updated after ESPN’s investigation last fall, Silver said it was not and will not specify when it will be completed.
“The investigation is ongoing,” Silver said. “I mean, an investigation of this kind takes a long time. You want to make sure you gather all the facts and also defend the rights of the accused. So we want to be wrong on the side of being very complete. We are certainly nearing the end. than before, but it is now difficult to specify the exact date. “
He gave a similar answer when asked about the league’s involvement in a lawsuit filed against the team by former Dallas Mavericks general manager Donnie Nelson.
“Our only participation now is to monitor the situation. In general, as you can imagine, the executive committee has a report of the council to our owners,” he said. “But for the most part our teams go to the league office to oversee the investigation, and that’s always been the case.”
* As for the settings in the game itself, Silver reiterated that he is very happy with the game tournament and expects that he will remain part of the league ahead, although he said that some adjustments can be made.
He also added that the idea of eliminating “such a foul” – a foul designed to deliberately stop quick breaks before they start – could happen next season, although there are obstacles that remain before it can be changed.
“As you know, this is what we are very focused on and are considering changing next season,” Silver said, referring to the elimination of fouls. “We still need to work with our competition committee. We will meet again with the board in July and it will be a possible time to change that rule. But as we see a rather sharp increase in fouls, we don’t think it’s an important part of our game. International basketball has another way to achieve that, but that’s something we would potentially like to set up. ”