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Adam Silver says not to expect changes when he takes over for Stern

Jan 16, 2014, 4:09 PM EDT

NBA Commissioner David Stern Announces Retirement Getty Images

Adam Silver was sitting next to David Stern on the dias in London, the Commissioner-in-waiting sitting next to the man who will step down Feb. 1 after 30 years as the head of the league. It was their last press conference together, this one before the Nets/Hawks game in London, and was likely Stern’s last presser as NBA commissioner.

One of the early questions was one a lot of fans are asking (some expectantly): come Feb. 2 what is going to be changed in the NBA besides Silver’s signature being on the balls used by the league?

“That is one being changed, the signature on the ball, but other than that…” Silver trailed off at the press conference shown live on NBA TV.

“In all seriousness, I’ve been working alongside with David for 22 years now and I think we’ve wanted to change we have changed. It’s been a partnership. My plan is to listen to the team owners, listen to the players, listen to the partners of the NBA then be very deliberate about making any changes. The league is operating at a wonderful state right now and I’d be cautious about making any changes.”

The change from Stern to Silver is one more of style than substance. Silver is more a modern CEO, more a consensus builder and less a force of personality.

As for what Stern will be doing come Feb. 2, he said trying to figure out what to do with all the boxes he brought home from his office, then he wants to do a little skiing.

After that, he said to expect a few big announcements.

Here are highlights from some of the other highlights and topics covered.

• With the NBA back in London the pair was asked about bringing a regular season NBA game to bigger basketball hotbeds in Europe such as Spain, Greece or Turkey, Stern gave the businessman’s answer:

“The economy is booming comparatively in the UK. We’re having a sell-out at good prices, I’m not sure that’s possible at the current time in Greece. It’s unlikely in Spain… Turkey and Italy as well, these are tough times. It’s problematic. And the O2 is a spectacular building, the last time we played in Italy it was at the Forum, and that building may be as old as I am…

“But we will go back to those places, we will go back to Spain and Italy and Greece, I just don’t know when Commissioner Silver will choose to do that.”

• Silver reiterated what Stern has said before — the league has discussed having full time teams in Europe, but if they ever did it this would be an entire division, not just one team. When in Europe the league loves to talk this idea up, but the logistics are difficult. At best. (Incorporating existing teams makes more sense in some ways, but adds a number of challenges.)

• Silver confirmed the league does plan to continue to play regular season games in London. As expected. The Nets have been a more aggressive franchise than most in marketing itself in Europe but Silver said they will spread the wealth around with which teams travel for these games down the line.

• Speaking of international ball, Stern said the league would not be releasing its contracted players to play in International events during the NBA season as FIBA tweaks and changes its schedule.

• “Under the right circumstances we’d love to see a team back in Seattle,” Silver said.

“That’s great, he sounds like a commissioner,” Stern joked about the reply.

• Stern largely dodged the question of things he wish he’d gotten done, saying he wished the WNBA was 24 teams instead of 12, that the Americans won the gold at the Athens Olympics, but that’s about it. Says he will travel some for the NBA, which is to be expected.

  1. pbtunpaidwriter - Jan 16, 2014 at 4:23 PM

    Incorporating teams in Europe would be horrific. See what happened with the Sonics moving to OKC.

    How would the T’Wolves or Spurs or any other team react to having their team move to Europe? That would never happen. An expansion team moving to Europe would be much more feasible, but a whole division? That’s a little too much.

    Just stick to a few teams playing games in Europe for now. That’s about it. Everyone who wants to watch around the world can watch now anyway.

    • asimonetti88 - Jan 16, 2014 at 4:40 PM

      I think he meant existing teams in Europe, like FC Barcelona, CSKA and Olympiakos.

      • pbtunpaidwriter - Jan 16, 2014 at 11:41 PM

        That’s even worse…the Euroleague would never merge with the NBA. The players and owners can’t even agree on a CBA, forget Europeans.

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 16, 2014 at 6:13 PM

      I guess this next fool will be deciding how much to fine shoelace bandits.
      I see they came up with a jersey to hide tattoos, soon you will be seeing
      capri shorts too.

  2. hildezero - Jan 16, 2014 at 4:57 PM

    He still hasn’t stepped down yet? WTF?

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 16, 2014 at 6:11 PM

      that fool is making easy money, what does he even do.

      • jcmeyer10 - Jan 17, 2014 at 8:31 AM

        Sue Mark Cuban and think of all the ways he can make sleeveless jerseys happen.

  3. jcmeyer10 - Jan 16, 2014 at 5:45 PM

    Would anyone be interested in trading 10 games of the regular season for something like a real World Championship?

    • 00maltliquor - Jan 17, 2014 at 12:45 AM

      The NBA Finals IS the real World Championship brother.

      • jcmeyer10 - Jan 17, 2014 at 8:33 AM

        Touche. It just scares me that there is so much push for international involvement.

      • 00maltliquor - Jan 17, 2014 at 11:02 AM

        Oh, best believe Adam Smithers is gonna pull off some ridiculous stunt so he can make his mark in the record books and completely make the NBA look like a sellout league, whether it be this or something else. You’re right about that. Money is the root of all evil.

  4. sasquash20 - Jan 16, 2014 at 6:26 PM

    Need to get rid of the lotto system for the draft. They need to do something because we have 10 teams already tanking it. How is that good for the league? 1/3 of the league is trying to lose on purpose. League needs to fix itself here in the states before going global.

  5. csbanter - Jan 16, 2014 at 7:10 PM

    do away with lotteryand award team with worst record first pick. There’s another league called the NFL that does it this way and things are just fine come draft day.

  6. cantonbound13 - Jan 16, 2014 at 8:17 PM

    When is the Heat holding Stern’s retirement ceremony?

  7. bigdaddy44 - Jan 16, 2014 at 8:47 PM

    Does this mean that the new commisioner will screw the Celtics over every chance he gets just like Stern has?

  8. apkyletexas - Jan 16, 2014 at 10:15 PM

    I doubt he’ll be yucking it up on the Jim Rome or Dan Patrick radio shows, or Mike and Mike in the morning, quite as often as old Stern.

  9. dinofrank60 - Jan 16, 2014 at 10:41 PM

    Is the headline a threat?

  10. mogogo1 - Jan 17, 2014 at 4:20 PM

    Hopefully he is smarter than he sounds, because his comments about playing in Europe are nonsensical. The fact the economy is better in England means almost nothing when you’re talking about a single game. Assuming they get any marketing value at all out of playing in Europe (which they obviously believe they are) how amazingly short-sighted it would be to pass up playing in other basketball hotbeds because ticket prices would need to be a bit lower for a single game. By that logic, they shouldn’t play overseas at all because no doubt the logistics costs alone eat up any extra profit from ticket sales.

    • Kurt Helin - Jan 17, 2014 at 6:16 PM

      For the record, it was Stern who talked why England over Spain/Greece/Italy.

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