NBA Commissioner Adam Silver this morning appeared on ESPN's "Get Up" to discuss a wide range of topics regarding the league. He said the Raptors' first appearance in the NBA Finals "clearly demonstrates what an international sport we are." He said, "We have more players from Canada other than the United States than any other country right now -- I think we have 13 players from Canada." He added the city of Toronto is "very representative of the modern NBA, where 25% of our league is composed of players born outside the United States." Silver: "It's a signal of sorts to a global market." Here are some other highlights of Silver's appearance.
*On the new Draft Lottery system, "I feel it worked. ... You could argue that in terms of teams' incentive to rebuild, they're clearly still there." Silver noted the new system is "going to demonstrate to fans and markets that they should stop rooting for teams to lose," something he called "corrosive."
*On reducing the 82-game regular season: "It's a possibility. There's no doubt it's an economic issue right now. ... One of the things we have to study is, if winning teams are able to rest players at strategic times, you're sending a pretty clear signal to your fans that those games are not that important."
*On top high school prospect R.J. Hampton's decision to play overseas: "I'm a little jealous, because in our G League, we’re trying to create our own professional tract. I haven't talked to him or his advisors, but he decided he was better off in Australia than our G League. So I’m going to talk to Commissioner Shareef (Abdur-Rahim) of the G League and say, ‘What should we be looking at differently?’"
*On top Draft prospects Zion Williamson and Ja Morant potentially heading to two of the league's smaller markets (New Orleans and Memphis): "It's fantastic for the league. The goal is to have a 30-team league where competition is determined based on management and not on market size of the individual wealth of ownership" ("Get Up," ESPN, 5/29).