NBA Commissioner Adam Silver Calls China Most Important Market Outside U.S.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver "squeezed six months' worth of goodwill into a whirlwind 48-hour visit to Beijing" -- his first since becoming commissioner last February, according to Murray Greig of CHINA DAILY. Highlights included a meeting with Vice-Premier Liu Yandong, a tour of the NBA Yao School in Wukesong, "ramping up CCTV's league coverage for next season and a freewheeling round-table chat with representatives of the national media." No matter where he went, the 52-year-old Silver "got rock star treatment from fans and media who hailed the personable New Yorker as a visionary who appreciates the importance of the immense Chinese market -- and he more than reciprocated the accolades." Silver said, "I want to be very clear about the fact that I personally, and we as a league, consider China our single most important market outside the United States." Silver said that his visit to the NBA Yao School at Wukesong -- "where he was mobbed for autographs and requests for selfies" -- left a "profound impression." NBA China CEO David Shoemaker "echoed that sentiment." Shoemaker: "One thing that struck me profoundly since our spring season was seeing a young man named Zhao, who before joining the Yao NBA School sorely lacked confidence, was overweight, only ate junk food and didn't do anything physical. Now, 14 weeks later, he's a different boy. He has many friends to socialize with. He has stopped playing video games all day and instead is playing basketball" (CHINA DAILY, 8/5).