Adam Silver Hopes Draft Reform Will Change Tanking Mindset
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver "praised the league's reformed draft lottery system while saying he hopes that it changes the 'destructive' mindset some teams and fans have about tanking," according to Royce Young of ESPN.com. Speaking with ESPN's Rachel Nichols, Silver said the "race to the bottom is just destructive ... for everyone." He said, "Corrosive for players and franchises, and I think, in some cases, even some executives who knew better felt they couldn't withstand the pressure from the communities." Silver added, "In this case now with the change in the lottery, people are going to realize that there's only one way to build a franchise. Of course, you need great players, but at the same time you need to build culture, you need strong management, you need strong coaching" (ESPN.com, 6/13).
WHAT OFFSEASON? THE RINGER's Rodger Sherman wrote the NBA Finals "weren't just a prelude to free agency: The two exist hand-in-hand." The Raptors' win has "more meaning because the way the series played out affects the decisions of several superstars who played in the six-game series." These Finals were the "opening chapter of the league's future," and how this offseason's free agency proceeds "could shape the league's power balance for years to come." Even a "slightly degraded" Kevin Durant, who tore his Achilles in Game 5, will be "one of the most valuable players in the NBA." Sherman: "Durant still has the league in his hands" (THERINGER.com, 6/13).
GLOBAL GAME: The AP's Tim Reynolds writes every team that wins an NBA title "calls itself 'world champions,'" and the Raptors "might actually be worthy of such a moniker." The Raptors' win is also a "good thing for the league's future." Basketball Without Borders is the "vehicle that basically helped" Raptors F Pascal Siakam "start his journey to the league." The NBA is "helping to establish a new pro league in Africa that's set to begin play early next year," and it "takes every opportunity it gets to promote what it bills as the Jr. NBA Global Championship, a tournament for kids" (AP, 6/14).