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October 8, 2014

Adam Silver

THE MODERATOR:テつ Good evening, everybody, welcome to the pregame press conference with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.テつ I would like to introduce commissioner silver who will make some brief opening remarks.
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつ Thank you very much, let me begin by welcoming everyone and thank you for being here.テつ This is NBA Global Games Berlin.テつ I arrived this morning, slightly jet lagged but thrilled to be here.テつ We're very excited about our game tonight between the NBA champion, of course, the SanAntonio Spurs and Alba Berlin who is the 8‑time BBL Champion.
The Spurs are one of the nine NBA teams that will be playing in six countries this year as part of our NBA Global Games. テつI have several thank‑you's while I'm here.テつ First of all, Peter Holt the principal owner of the SanAntonio Spurs, I want to thank him.テつ He's been a former chairman of the board of the NBA and has been a leader of the movement in internationalizing the NBA.テつ Of course you all know R.C. Buford who is the General Manager of the San Antonio Spurs is and has traveled the world on behalf of that team and was an early adopter of the Global Games and you can see it by the make‑up of that team.
Of course the San Antonio Spurs team, it's remarkable this championship team has come back fully assembled from last year's championship run, so we're looking forward to seeing more of them this year and no team epitomizes our global growth more than the San Antonio Spurs do.テつ I would like to thank our several of out partners in Germany.テつ AEG, who built and operates this fantastic state‑of‑the‑art arena, The O2 World.テつ Adidas, our global merchandizing partner which of course is based here in Germany.テつ Sport Lobster, the presenting partner of the NBA Global Games Berlin, and for those of you who may not be familiar with Sport Lobster, they're an emerging aggregator of social media surrounding sports teams on a global basis, and you can download their app, along with NBA Gametime, two of the best sports apps out there.
The Euro League, with their leader Jordi Bertomeu.テつ We have enjoyed a tremendous partnership that goes back for years now and developed a strong personal relationship well.テつ Tonight's game will be broadcast on, here in Germany, on Sport1 US.テつ It will be livestreamed on Spox.com, NBA.de and Sport1.de, plus it's available on NBA League Pass, which is an app which you can download.
Lastly, let me just say, the game has never been better, and we're looking forward to a fantastic season.テつ Probably our talent is the deepest and highest caliber of anytime in our history.テつ We have a terrific mix of future Hall of Famers, experienced veterans, established All‑Stars, emerging stars, and promising up‑and‑comers.テつ We're excited to be tipping off these Global Games here in Berlin.テつ The sport continues to grow here in Germany and throughout the world, and lastly I will say the next time I'll see the San Antonio Spurs is on the opening date of our regular season, that's October28th, where they will be receiving their rings in San Antonio and they will be happening to play the Dallas Mavericks, featuring, of course, Dirk Nowitzki, Germany's very own and one of our greatest players, ever.テつ With that I'm happy to answer questions.

Q.テつ Mr.Silver, it's been an exciting time since you took office.テつ Could you sum up your first month in office?
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつ It's‑‑ it has been exciting.テつ It's been several months now, obviously, since I took over.テつ In fact, my predecessor, David Stern is here tonight.テつ He is very fond of Berlin and he and his wife Dianne are in town and here for the game, and I learned so much under him.テつ I, of course, had been at the NBA for 22 years before I became Commissioner.テつ I would never have anticipated sort of as much excitement as I've had in my first several months in office but I'm a fortunate guy.テつ The League is in wonderful shape and it's a privilege nobody a position to travel the world on behalf of this League.

Q.テつ Adam, next year with Africa getting some games, that will leave only Australia among the inhabited continents that had has not hosted an NBA.テつ I'm assuming you're not going to Antarctica.テつ What will it take Australia to lure the NBA or at least get some games?
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつ Basketball Australia doesn't have to lure the NBA, in fact, in my early days at the NBA we had active presence and while we didn't play a game we had fan festivals and other type activities, a lot around Luc Longley while he was playing for the Chicago Bulls, and it remains a terrific NBA market.テつ It's frankly a function of priorities in deciding where we get, you know, the most bang for our buck, in essence, when we bring teams overseas, but Australia continues to be a very successful market for us, our League Pass application is very is successful there and we're always looking for new opportunities so I will follow up with you after this press conference.

Q.テつ Mr.Silver, we feel honored that you choose Berlin for this sports event.テつ What kind of key facts do you and your organization have when you choose a city for your European and your global tour?
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつ Well, for Europe, part of it is our partnership with the Euro League, so it's a joint decision on what cites make sense and what teams to play.
Part of it's a function of the facilities.テつ For example, here in Berlin, where you have '02 Worlds and you have first‑class operate or in AEG, that's part of the draw and I would say finally the city of Berlin.テつ It's a wonderful city.テつ I read the statistics today on tourism here for Berlin and I think it's the No. 3 city in Europe is what I read today in terms of attracting tourists and it's a very is desirable location for our teams.テつ It doesn't take any convincing at all to bring R.C. Buford and Coach Popovich here, they're both big fans of Berlin and wanted to play here.

Q.テつ Mr.Silver, your predecessor had the vision of a European division.テつ What about this plans?テつ How long will it take?
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつ He had the vision and he left me to execute it.テつ (Laughter.)テつ I'm not sure exactly how long it will take.テつ As I mentioned to the last questioner, part of that vision requires facilities, and we have now, of course, a state‑of‑the‑art facility in London where we have experimented with regular season games, we have this arena here, the Bercy Arena in Paris is in the process of being renovated, I was in Spain only a few weeks ago for the World Cup of Basketball and had conversations with organizations in Barcelona and Madrid about plans for future arenas.テつ So I'll say, we'll see, we have no immediate plans to expand at the moment but we're watching the world economies, the ongoing growth in our sport and it's our hope one day we will number a position to expand to Europe.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつ It's hard to set a specific timetable.テつ It's not imminent, but it's something we continue to look at.

Q.テつ Some current affairs, you had some great and crazy months during this Berlin affair, and you had amazing task at hand with the new TV deal.テつ Can we expect the NBA to be more proactive in the next year, as LeBron James has quoted "that will not fly with us," regarding the owners' standpoint to another walk out to be avoided in 2017?
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつ This is the fourth season under the collective bargaining agreement and what you're referencing is there is the opportunity for the teams or the players to opt out after year six.テつ I'm sorry, yeah, after year six.テつ So we'll see in essence how this agreement ultimately operates.テつ It was designed to take into account new business opportunities.テつ In fact, the goal of this collective bargaining agreement was for the teams and the players to work together to grow the so‑called pie.テつ That's what we're seeing right now and experiencing.テつ So from our standpoint we're seeing this collective bargaining agreement operate and operate successfully.
On the other hand, this new television money from the new U.S. deals does not kick in for two more seasons until the '16‑'17 season so I think it's premature to make any declarations about the operation of this agreement.テつ We will continue to study it.テつ I'm sure they are already beginning to study what this new television money will mean to them, but I will say as the agreement is currently structured they will receive 51% of this new money off the top.テつ It goes directly to the players and gets divided up among them and that's the way our system works.

Q.テつ Last time the negotiations seemed to be starting at the 25th hour so you are trying to be more proactive this time?
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつ That's a fair point, and we have just appointed a new executive director of our Players' Association a woman, Michele Roberts, she and I are just getting to know each other, and we have had several conversations already and I'm sure if she were standing her she would be saying the same thing, it's both of our jobs to avoid work stoppages.

Q.テつ First of all, congratulations with the new deal.

Q.テつ But with the deal also comes a big increase of the salary cap.テつ Is that for you personally a bad side affect?
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつ No, not at all, it's a wonderful side affect.テつ Again, the operation of this so‑called salary cap system is based on a partnership between the league and the players in which the players receive somewhere between 49 and 51%.テつ That's how the deal was negotiated.テつ Because we've already‑‑ and we will reach revenue thresholds and they will receive 51% of the revenue from the new television deal and the way that money gets distributed through the players is through a rise in the salary cap so the fact that the salary cap is going up means that the pie is growing.

Q.テつ Is it necessary for players to make more money than they already do?
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつ You know, it's a partnership.テつ It's a system that's designed to be fair to both the teams and the players, and in any partnership, both sides should benefit from success, so I think from that standpoint I would never say the players are making too much or too little.テつ They're making the appropriate amount that was negotiated for in this collective bargaining agreement.

Q.テつ Mr.Silver, are there any NBA teams return to London?テつ Are there any specific plans to go to Berlin for a regular season game in a year or two years or just the long term?
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつ There are plans to return to London this Jan.テつ The NewYork Knicks will be playing the Milwaukee Bucks.テつ There are no plans to play in any other European cities this year, but London was always designed as a experiment of sorts, to see how successful it would be, to test the impact on the teams of traveling mid‑season for regular season games.テつ So I am hopeful that ultimately we will be playing regular season games in other European cities.

Q.テつ I have asked this question to David Stern when the Mavs were here, and he told me Poland isn't in future plans but maybe thinking has changed about Poland and the Global Games in Europe?
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつ I'm sorry, about what?

Q.テつ About Poland.
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつ Poland, I'm sorry.テつ No immediate plans to play in Poland, but, again, we continue to look at virtually every market throughout the world to see where it makes sense to play games and Poland would be a very desirable market to play in ultimately as well.

Q.テつ The NBA had a hard season ownerwise.テつ The NFL had a hard season playerwise.テつ Any special measurements taken regarding player communication, player behavior during this off‑season to avoid what happened in the NFL this season?
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつ You know, we are always in the process of communicating with our players about their social responsibility to give back, because of all that's given to us from this game in terms of their personal conduct off the court, and all kinds of other issues involving their lifestyles.
It's a constant educational campaign.テつ It's something we work on together with the Players' Association.テつ Of course, we took note of what transpired with the NFL player and events around that this summer and as a result of that we are redoubling our efforts.テつ As I said before, we are taking a fresh look at many of our programs involving domestic violence.テつ I think there is no question there are lessons to be learned from the experience the NFL is going through.テつ We're all‑‑ it's something that we're constantly studying and doing the best we can to try to avoid future incidents.

Q.テつ Commissioner, I have to ask you about Italy.テつ You haven't been there since two years.テつ Any plan to come back for a preseason game because you already said regular season is out of question.
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつ Well, nothing is out of the question, but, again, a fantastic market in Italy, I've been there personally many times with the NBA.テつ While I'm not prepared today to announce specific plans for future Global Games.テつ We will be taking a very close look at Italy.

Q.テつ Hello, Mr.Silver.テつ In the future will NBA players be able to keep on playing for their national team?
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつ The question is will they continue to be able to play for their national team?

Q.テつ Yes.
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつ You know, I believe that the national competitions have been very helpful for the growth of the game.テつ It's led to terrific personal development for those players who have participated, so we have no plans to stop participating in global competitions or to prevent our players or seek to prevent our players from participating on behalf of their national teams.
While there are, of course, issues involved that we continue to study, particular injuries that are obviously damaging for those teams that those players play for, we think net it's a positive for the game and for the NBA.テつ Our plans are to continue participating.

Q.テつ You've said that there will be jersey sponsors within the next five years, most likely, what kind of money could a club like San Antonio Spurs gain out of a jersey sponsor, per season.
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつ I'm not prepared to put a dollar number on what an individual club will gain in part because while we continue to discuss and examine what the financial implications will be for selling jersey sponsorships, it's not clear whether those would be sold by an individual team, whether they would be sold by the League, whether they would be sold in conjunction with our television partners, those are all things we will continue to look at.テつ But as you said in your question I said earlier it is something that is likely to happen in the NBA over the next few years.テつ We watched especially what's happened in Europe on football jerseys, on their kits, and how global sponsorships have evolved in markets outside of the United States so I do continue to believe that it's inevitable that we will have some form of sponsorships on our jerseys.

Q.テつ If the League would sell jerseys for all clubs, how much would it be more or less?
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつ I would like to think it would be a lot.テつ (Laughter.)

Q.テつ You mentioned you may expand the NBA toward Europe and probably Germany, Berlin. テつDo you think Berlin would be ready for the NBA right now?テつ If not so, what's still missing?
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつ I don't think from what I know right now that any of the cites we're currently playing pre‑season games in are ready for a full‑fledged NBA franchise.テつ I think that's because the local revenues that our teams are able to generate now in their cities, in terms of the ticket prices, the sponsorships, the local television, the suite sales all put these cities currently at a disadvantage because the same model doesn't work on here for basketball franchises.テつ Having said that, the model continues to evolve and it's one of the reasons why we play these pre‑season games to test these markets and why we're experimenting in London with regular season games.
I'm not sure exactly how far off we are from being able to do that, and as I said earlier it's a function of the economies of the countries in Europe who are popular as well and it does not seem to me to be an ideal time to think about expanding right now.
THE MODERATOR:テつ That concludes this evening's press conference.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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