NBA Commissioner Discusses Moving Away From "Owner" Term
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the league needs "to be responsible" if players have an issues with the term "owner" being used in the league. The issue has picked up steam in recent days, but Silver prior to NBA Finals Game 3 said, "In our league, the formal name for our team owners is the governor, and then we have alternate governors. So we don't technically use the name 'owner.'" He said the problem is that owner is "such a popular term in terms of culture, and the media that it will take a while to transition out of that name." He said, "If people are sensitive, if players are sensitive about it, we should be looking for another title for the position." Silver added words can "come to have different meanings and different connotations, so I don't think we're locked in stone certainly to that label for the person who owns the team." Silver also said he allows NBA players to have a voice and express themselves "because I think it's the right way to run a business in this day and age." He said, "You need transparency, you need to represent the people you're working with and you need to listen to them. That's how you can run a great business, and we all have respect for each other in this league." More Silver: "Those people formerly known as the owners deserve a lot of the credit because we have a really progressive group of people in this league." Silver said they have a "progressive view about how you run a business and that is what enables me to have that kind of policy so it's not just talk and when we sit down with players we're able to really have a serious partnership and take into account how the people who drive this league really feel about how it's operated" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 6/6).
PERFECT TIMING: ESPN's Michael Wilbon said the NBA is "chasing television ratings," in response to comments from Silver earlier this postseason that the league could move start times around for some West Coast games. ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said, "Television is now in control of sports and that sports is made for television. I do think that you serve the greater good of everybody involved in your sport if you chase television ratings." He added while he would like for games to tip-off at 7:00pm ET, "I don't think you can do this for every game." Kornheiser: "I would only do this for nationally televised games." Wilbon said Silver's comments, which recently were mirrored by Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban are "lip-service" because most of this year's NBA Finals games have started at 9:00pm ET. Wilbon said, "Start the damn finals games at 8:00. Why are you talking about the future and what you do to the west coast, when you're starting the games two hours later in the east than they should be starting? The hypocrisy" ("PTI," ESPN, 6/6).