National Basketball Association commissioner Adam Silver calls trade demands 'disheartening'

Florence Fletcher
July 11, 2019

The league has only so many ways it can police tampering, particularly when it comes in the form of players talking to one another, something the National Basketball Association has no realistic way to combat. Both joined teams that made major free agent acquisitions in the previous year; Davis will team up with LeBron James, who signed with the Lakers last summer, and George joins newly-signed Kawhi Leonard with the Clippers.

"My sense in the room today, when it comes to free agency and the rules around it, we have work to do", Silver said at his annual Board of Governor's press conference on Tuesday, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.

"I think you have unique circumstances with those players and those teams".

There's always been an understanding that some players are talking to other players about teaming up, which is legal. "The one conviction I have is that we should not have rules that are not strictly enforced". I think what's best for the fan is a 30-team league which everyone has the opportunity to compete with a fair set of rules. You have a contract and it needs to be meaningful on both sides.

Teams get just one challenge per game, even if it is a successful challenge, although plays still will be reviewed without the need for a challenge in the final two minutes of regulation or overtime. Of the 25 players who were on the 2017 All-Star rosters, 17 have changed teams since and seven of them have switched jerseys at least twice.

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The league will now have a "courtside administrator", a new position hired and supervised by the NBA's league office, positioned at the scorer's table to speed up the communication between the replay center and the on-court referees. How they will attempt to address the issues will be interesting to watch.

"I do not believe, and the data doesn't support, that it's from declining interest", Silver said.

Silver was also asked about the decline in TV ratings this season, which he said could be attributed to several things, including cord cutting and pirating, but said he wasn't concerned about it overall.

Want to watch the National Basketball Association and WNBA but don't have Sky Sports? "In fact, at our board meeting we discussed the growth in popularity of the sport, the growth in participation, the fact that we have a young, diverse, global audience". But at the end of the day, a large component of our revenue come from traditional media.

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