Adam Silver (born April 25, 1962) is an American businessman, lawyer and sports executive who is the fifth and current commissioner of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He joined the NBA in 1992 and has held various positions with the league, becoming chief operating officer and deputy commissioner under his predecessor and mentor David Stern in 2006. When Stern retired in 2014, Silver was named the new commissioner.

Adam Silver
Adam Silver (15847004771).jpg
5th Commissioner of the NBA
Assumed office
February 1, 2014
DeputyMark Tatum
Preceded byDavid Stern
Personal details
Born (1962-04-25) April 25, 1962 (age 57)
Rye, New York, U.S.
Spouse(s)Maggie Silver (m. 2015)
Children1
Alma materDuke University (BA)
University of Chicago (JD)

While commissioner, the league continued to grow economically and worldwide, especially in China. Controversies during his tenure have included racist remarks by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling in 2014, whom Silver banned for life from the game, and the reaction by the Chinese government to comments made by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey in support of the 2019 Hong Kong protesters.

Early lifeEdit

Silver was born into a Jewish-American family and grew up in Rye, New York, a northern suburb of New York City in Westchester County.[1][2] He attended Rye High School and graduated in 1980.[3]

After graduating from high school, Silver attended Duke University, graduating in 1984 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science.[4] After college he worked as a legislative aide for U.S. Congressman Les AuCoin from 1984 to 1985.[5] He then studied law at the University of Chicago Law School and graduated in 1988 with a J.D. degree.[6]

After law school, Silver clerked for one year for Judge Kimba Wood of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York,[7] and then joined the law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore as an associate.

NBA careerEdit

Prior to becoming commissioner, Silver was the NBA's Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer for eight years. In that role, he was involved in the negotiation of the league's last three collective bargaining agreements with the National Basketball Players Association, the development of the WNBA and NBA Development League, the partnership with Turner Broadcasting to manage the NBA's digital assets, and the creation of NBA China.

Previously, Silver spent eight years as President and COO of NBA Entertainment. Since joining the NBA in 1992, Silver has also held the positions of Senior VP & COO, NBA Entertainment, NBA Chief of Staff, and Special Assistant to the Commissioner.[8]

During his time with NBA Entertainment, Silver was an executive producer of the IMAX movie Michael Jordan to the Max, as well as the documentary Whatever Happened to Micheal Ray? He also worked on the production side of Like Mike and Year of the Yao.

CommissionerEdit

On October 25, 2012, he was endorsed by David Stern to be the next NBA Commissioner when Stern announced that he would step down on February 1, 2014.[9][10][11]

On April 25, 2014, TMZ Sports released a video of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling holding a conversation with his girlfriend that included racist remarks. Silver responded on April 29, 2014, announcing that Sterling had been banned from the NBA for life. In addition, Silver fined Sterling $2.5 million, the maximum allowed under the NBA constitution. Silver stripped Sterling from virtually all of his authority over the Clippers, and urged owners to vote to expel Sterling from ownership of the Clippers. Sterling was disallowed from entering any Clippers facility as well as attending any NBA games. It was one of the most severe punishments ever imposed on a professional sports owner.[12]

On November 13, 2014, Silver published an op-ed piece in The New York Times, where he announced that he is in favor of legalized and regulated sports betting, mentioning that it should be "brought out of the underground and into the sunlight where it can be appropriately monitored and regulated."[13]

On October 4, 2019, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey issued a tweet that supported the 2019 Hong Kong protests.[14] Morey later deleted the tweet.[15] On October 6 Morey and the NBA each issued a separate statement addressing the original tweet; Morey said that he never intended his tweet to cause any offense while the NBA said the tweet was "regrettable."[16][17] The statements drew attention and subsequent bipartisan criticism from several US politicians.[18] On October 7, Silver defended league's response to the tweet, supporting Morey's right to freedom of expression while also accepting the right of reply from the government of and businesses from China.[19]

In October 2019, Silver was faced with an impending issue in terms of the partnership between China and the NBA. After Rockets GM Daryl Morey tweeted his support for the pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong, China has responded negatively with decisions to possibly cut ties from the NBA. However, Adam Silver responded supporting Daryl Morey stating that he has an expression to exercise his freedom of speech. Furthermore, Silver publicly said:

"It is inevitable that people around the world — including from America and China — will have different viewpoints over different issues. . . . It is not the role of the NBA to adjudicate those differences."

Chinese smartphone manufacturer, Vivo, responded to Silver's statements, stating:

"Vivo has always insisted on the principle that the national interest is above all else and firmly opposes any remark and behavior that constitutes a challenge to the national sovereignty and territorial integrity. . . . Starting today, Vivo will suspend all cooperation with the NBA."[20]

On the other hand, Silver and the NBA have faced significant criticism for bias in favor of China's Communist regime from across the American political spectrum for their response to Morey's comments and signs reading "Google Uighurs" held up by fans at a preseason Washington Wizards game soon thereafter. While the Washington Post published an opinion piece declaring "Americans must search their conscience and ‘google Uyghurs’,"[21] left wing Slate asked why "The league is running a training center in the middle of one of the world’s worst humanitarian atrocities"[22] as authors at Esquire published pieces using the behavior of "Adam Silver and his chickenshit high command" to critique American political figures and businesses from Nixon to Walmart for participating in "a Rich American Tradition of Appeasing China's Totalitarian Regime."[23] Meanwhile, authors in the right-wing National Review opined that "Apparently the NBA is fine with protesting American police brutality, but not Hong Kong police brutality."[24]

HonorsEdit

In 2016, Sports Business Journal ranked Silver No. 1 on its list of the 50 Most Influential People in Sports Business. In 2015, Silver was named Executive of the Year by Sports Business Journal.[25] That year he was also named one of Time's 100 Most Influential People[26] and one of Fortune's 50 Greatest Leaders.[27]

In 2014, he was named the Sports Illustrated Executive of the Year.[28]

OtherEdit

Silver is on Duke University's Board of Trustees and received the 2016 Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Chicago Law School.[29] He is also on the board of the Lustgarten Pancreatic Cancer Foundation.[30]

Personal lifeEdit

Silver has been married to his wife, Maggie, since 2015.[31] They have one daughter.[32]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Jerusalem Post: "Who was the most influential Jew in sports this past year?" By Uriel Sturm August 9, 2016
  2. ^ "Jewish groups slam racist rant attributed to Donald Sterling". Jewish Journal. Retrieved April 30, 2014.
  3. ^ "Silver mettle". www.sportsbusinessdaily.com. Retrieved June 30, 2017.
  4. ^ "Future NBA Commissioner Reflects on Time at Duke". goduke.com. February 3, 2013. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  5. ^ Lofton, John Lombardo; Terry Lefton (October 21, 2013). "Silver mettle". SportsBusiness Daily. Retrieved April 29, 2014.
  6. ^ "Duke alum Adam Silver named next NBA commissioner". DukeChronicle.com. October 26, 2012. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
  7. ^ Soshnick, Scott. "Silver Taking Over NBA With Stern Completing Turnaround". Businessweek. Archived from the original on November 14, 2014. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
  8. ^ "Profile from". NBA.com. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
  9. ^ "Stern to step aside in 2014; Silver to replace him". National Basketball Association. October 25, 2012. Retrieved June 28, 2015.
  10. ^ Berger, Ken (February 25, 2012). "Stern anoints Silver as successor". CBS Sports. Archived from the original on February 2, 2014. Retrieved April 30, 2014.
  11. ^ Windhorst, Brian (October 25, 2012). "David Stern has date for retirement". ESPN.com. ESPN. Retrieved October 25, 2012.
  12. ^ "Clippers owner Sterling banned for life by the NBA". National Basketball Association. April 29, 2014. Retrieved June 28, 2015.
  13. ^ Adam Silver (November 13, 2014). "N.B.A. Commissioner Adam Silver: Allow Gambling on Pro Games". The New York Times. Retrieved June 28, 2015.
  14. ^ "Rockets GM Daryl Morey tweets support for Hong Kong protests, prompting response from owner". sports.yahoo.com. October 5, 2019.
  15. ^ "Rockets GM Daryl Morey in hot water after Hong Kong tweet". USA Today. MSN. October 5, 2019.
  16. ^ Chang, Joy (October 7, 2019). "Houston Rockets GM's Hong Kong tweet outrages Chinese fans". SCMP. Retrieved October 8, 2019.
  17. ^ Victor, Daniel (October 7, 2019). "Hong Kong Protests Put N.B.A. on Edge in China". NYT.
  18. ^ "Rockets' general manager's Hong Kong comments anger China". AP NEWS. October 7, 2019.
  19. ^ "NBA head Adam Silver defends response over tweet uproar". Reuters. October 8, 2019.
  20. ^ "All of the NBA's official Chinese partners have suspended ties with the league".
  21. ^ Rogin, Josh (October 31, 2019). "Americans must search their conscience and 'google Uyghurs'". Washington Post. Retrieved January 8, 2020.
  22. ^ Fish, Isaac Stone (October 8, 2019). "Why Is the NBA in Xinjiang?". Slate. Retrieved January 8, 2020.
  23. ^ Pierce, Charles P. (October 8, 2019). "The NBA and Adam Silver Are Part of a Rich American Tradition of Appeasing China's Totalitarian Regime". Esquire. Retrieved January 8, 2020.
  24. ^ Geraghty, Jim (October 10, 2019). "The NBA Has Already Chosen China". National Review. Retrieved January 8, 2020.
  25. ^ "SBJ 2015 Executive of the Year". SBJ.
  26. ^ "Time 100 Most Influential - Adam Silver". Time Magazine.
  27. ^ "Fortune 50 Greatest Leaders- Adam Silver". Fortune Magazine.
  28. ^ Jenkins, Lee (December 11, 2014). "SI Executive of the Year- Adam Silver". Sports Illustrated.
  29. ^ "Apple CEO Cook, NBA commissioner Silver among 8 new trustees". dukechronicle.com. June 7, 2015. Archived from the original on July 7, 2015. Retrieved June 30, 2017.
  30. ^ Ramkumar, Amrith. "Lustgarten Foundation leadership". Lustgarten Foundation.
  31. ^ "NBA commissioner Adam Silver: I'm getting married - TODAY.com". TODAY. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  32. ^ @MagicJohnson (April 20, 2017). "Congratulations to Commissioner Adam Silver and his wife Maggie on the birth of their daughter Louise Burns Silver!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.

External linksEdit