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NBA ALL-STAR WEEKEND


February 14, 2015


Adam Silver


NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK

THE MODERATOR:テつ Thanks again for joining us.テつ We gave you the ground rules.テつ Now I'll be happy to turn it over to the Commissioner of the NBA, Adam Silver.
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつテつテつ Thank you, Tim.テつ We're thrilled to be here in New York City for All‑Star and I want to give a special thanks to the Nets organization, the Knicks organization, Mayor de Blasio, Commissioner Bratton and their organizations for the tremendous cooperation we have gotten throughout the season and in preparation for this All‑Star.
In addition to being a great host, they've given us some of the data on the impact we've had in town here.テつ We're told by New York City that in essence these All‑Star activities have had a $200 million economic impact on New York, and as a New Yorker I'm thrilled to hear that.
We've had 166,000 fans attending our various events throughout All‑Star that includes the NBA Houses, these interactive festivals we've conducted in both New York and Brooklyn and all the arena events as well.
As you can see in this room, we have an enormous number of credentialed media, 1,800 credentials were issued by the NBA, including a record 534 international media credentials.テつ So welcome to all my international friends who are here today.
In addition to our All Stars, we've had a number of active players and former players who are here in town.テつ We have 70 active players in town, 154 legends.テつ And when I say "legends", I'm not just talking about the big‑name players but all kinds of former players are here in town, working with us in the community, working on clinics and fan events for the people in New York.テつ And included among those over 150 legends are 41 Hall of Famers.テつ As I always say in our sport, our Babe Ruths are still around.テつ Those Hall of Famers include Bill Russell, who will be here tonight and has been very actively engaged in activities throughout the community.テつ Oscar Robertson is here, a personal favorite of mine.テつ Dr. J is here.テつ Kareem Abdul‑Jabbar, of course Michael Jordan has been in town.テつ A great range of legends are here with us.
And maybe the most important impact we've had on New York City through this All‑Star experience is we've reached, we estimate, aテつ million kids throughout the five boroughs of New York City over the course of this season.テつ That's been in partnership with Mayor de Blasio and the Department of Education.テつ That includes hands‑on clinics.テつ In fact, just this past Friday we've conducted 100 clinics in all five boroughs.テつ 20 clinics in each borough, where we directly impacted hundreds of thousands of kids just on Friday alone.テつ We have had community programs, we've served meals to hungry families in New York.テつ That's really the essence of the All‑Star experience.テつ And we're enormously proud of that.
In addition, just over the course of this past week, we've had 3,000 volunteers, members of the NBA family, who have been out in the communities here, again all five boroughs, working directly with kids mainly, focused on the game of basketball, focused on fitness, focused on the values of the game ‑ all important things to this league.
Let me now just talk a little bit about what's next on my agenda.テつ As I've said to all of you, I've kept an open mind throughout my first year as the commissioner.テつ And now going into my second year, I recognize it's time to take action on a lot of things that we've been discussing extensively.テつ My focus is on the game.テつ It's a fantastic game, it's a great game.テつ But that's an aspect I believe we can improve.
Let me begin with scheduling.テつ It's been a discussion long before I was involved in the League office, and that is the wear and tear on the players of a long season:テつ The issue of back‑to‑back games, the issue of four games out of five nights.テつ One of the things we're hoping to address, even for next season, is to come close as we can to eliminating the four games out of five nights.テつ It's a math formula at the end of the day in terms of the number of days in the season and the number of games we play, but we think we can make a dramatic reduction there.テつ And while I don't think we can completely eliminate four out of five nights.テつ We hope to make tremendous progress.
We're also very focused on the back‑to‑backs.テつ There once again it's a function of numbers of days in the schedule and numbers of games we want to play.テつ But I think we can make a dramatic impact there.テつ That may take more than one season.テつ We'll have a reduction next year based on some additional television windows.テつ We've talked to our partners at Turner and Disney about maybe opening up a little bit more flexibility on Thursday nights and Sunday.テつ That will help with the scheduling.テつ We've also talked to our teams and their arenas about creating more windows, more opportunities to schedule games.テつ I think that it's a give and take in terms of the other events in the building.テつテつ We hear everyone loud and clearly.テつ Certainly our players and our teams, that there's nothing more important than the health and welfare of our players.テつ And ultimately we want to see players getting appropriate rest and playing at the highest level.テつ That's something we're very focused on.
We've talked about the Draft Lottery.テつ We've addressed that at the last Board of Governors meeting.テつ There was a proposal on the table.テつ Ultimately a majority of the teams supported that proposal for tweaking in essence the Draft Lottery, but it was not approved by three‑quarters of the teams.テつ We're going to come back to the Board of Governors at our April meeting for an additional discussion.テつ We've already begun with the Competition Committee talking about how we can readdress the issue.テつ I personally believe we do need to make some changes in the Draft Lottery, which I believe is largely a perception issue.テつ We want to ensure that our fans know that our teams do not have an incentive to lose games.テつ That it may not be in any given season that you can ultimately have a winning and playoff‑bound team, and it's a multi‑year task, but we want to ensure our fans that our teams are always undergoing a process to try to field the best possible team on the floor.
And so we believe we're going to need to take a fresh look at the Draft Lottery.テつ I don't think the system isn't as broken as some may suggest, but it's going to require a tweak.
Playoffs, that's an issue that I've gotten a lot of feedback on.テつ Once again, if there was a simple solution we would have made it long ago.テつ I understand the notion that we should have the absolute 16 best teams competing in the playoffs seemingly regardless of conferences and divisions.テつ I am a believer, though, in the conference and the division system.テつ It's a tradeoff from the earlier issue I talked about.テつ To the extent that you have a balanced schedule, meaning every team roughly played each other the same amount of times, it would require a lot more travel.テつ That goes against the notion of ensuring that our teams are rested when they play.
So I believe in the conference system.テつ Although I think there may be some tweaks.テつ There's been some proposals about maybe division winners are ensured playoff spots.テつ Maybe it's the top two teams in each division and maybe there's some teams that, therefore, get seeded based on their record.
I'm also focused on the parade of horribles; you keep hearing it.テつ That somehow we'll end up with Miami playing Portland in the first round.テつ I don't mean to suggest that's not a real issue.テつ We have to look at that as well and see statistically what's the likelihood of that happening.テつ But it's a balance.テつ There will be no perfect solution here.テつ But it is something that the Competition Committee needs to focus on and the owners need to focus on as well.
Lastly, back to the game is my focus.テつ Youth basketball is the future of this game.テつ And I see Jerry Colangelo here today.テつ USA Basketball recently announced a program where they are going to seek to an accreditation program of youth coaches throughout the country.テつ We think that's critically important, so that parents, guardians of young boys and girls who play the game know that there are places they can go, to ensure that the coaches who are involved with their children have the appropriate training, are teaching the right values of the game.テつ That's an appropriate role for USA Basketball, and I know they're going to dramatically increase their efforts there.
From the NBA standpoint there's two programs that we're focusing on:テつ One, we want to dramatically expand our Junior NBA program.テつ We've learned through this All‑Star effort in New York how impactful we can be on children, kids would play basketball.テつ This effort has been led by Kathy Behrens in the League office.テつ As I said, we didn't initially have such an audacious goal of one million kids in New York, but we hit that goal.テつ That's opened our eyes to the impact we can have on a national basis.
So through Junior NBA we are going to be setting a target of five million kids over the next two years on a national basis.テつ And Junior NBA will be targeted roughly at seven to 14‑year‑olds, boys and girls.
And we haven't ironed out all the details of that program yet.テつ But we're very focused on it.テつ We have great learning coming out of New York City.テつ But I think it's critically important for the future of the game, as I said earlier, that we start at a young age with the boys and girls teaching the appropriate skills involved in the game and the values of the game as well.テつ I can't stress that strongly enough.
Next the other component of youth basketball we'll be focusing on young adults with a national three‑on‑three tournament.テつ It's something that USA Basketball is very focused on.テつ It's something that our federation FIBA is very focused on on a very global basis.テつ We think through an organized, coordinated national three‑on‑three program in the United States, we can get more young men, young women playing the game and focused on the important aspects and the skills that are required to ultimately become even greater players.
So youth basketball and the game itself, improvements in the game, improvements in scheduling, focusing on youth basketball is what this league is going to be focused on in this coming year.
With that let me just say again, it's been a wonderful few days so far in New York.テつ I want to thank all the members of the media, many who have traveled a long way, to be here and to the Knicks and the Nets for the tremendous cooperation.テつ And with that I'm happy to answer any questions you have.
THE MODERATOR:テつ We'll start with questions.

Q.テつ The NBA has already gone to a lot of places ‑ Europe, Asia.テつ I heard this year you guys are going to Africa, also.テつ So my question is what message does the NBA want to send to this whole world?テつ And also what's your own message that you want to say to the world as a person?テつ And my third question is how can you make a balance of every single continent?
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつ What was the last part of your question?

Q.テつ How can you make a balance of every single continent?
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつ I'll just begin by saying our message really it's the things I just talked about.テつ It's the values of this great game.テつ It's not just about bouncing a basketball.テつ It's about the core values that are involved in this game.テつ Things that we can teach kids, about team work, about discipline, about leadership, about hard work, those are values that transcend far beyond our game.テつ And it's values that the young people who participate in basketball can carry throughout their lives.
I would say from a personal standpoint, I very much enjoyed my travel with the NBA.テつ I think one of my areas that I'm particularly focused on is fitness.テつ So beyond sort of the game itself and those values I talked about, we're hearing this from governments we're involved with throughout the world, that it's not just issues of the United States.テつ It's not just wealthy countries that have issues with inactive children, obese children, epidemic rates of diabetes.テつテつ We're seeing it all around the world.テつ Basketball we think is a great game, whether it's governments or school systems, to facilitate activity among their children.
Those I would say are my core issues that I'm focused on.テつ Thank you for the question.

Q.テつ I just kind of wonder, could you update on where from the League perspective the sale of the Hawks stands?テつ And also there was a recent report that said the League passed a rule that an ownership group can have no more than 25 individual owners and they must own at least one percent.テつ Can you address that, please?
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつ One, I begin by saying that the Atlanta Hawks sale process is moving along on course.テつ There are two investment banks that have engaged by the owners of the team.テつ It's a very deliberate, methodical process.テつ They produce, in essence, a sales book that has the data on the team.テつ Groups look at it.テつ They set dates in which teams make bids.テつ But that's moving just along a course that they had expected.テつ And there are several very interested parties who are looking at the team.テつ And everything is on schedule.
In terms of the new rule, yes, we passed a new rule at our last Board of Governors meeting.テつ It was a bit of a formality, ownership groups cannot be comprised of more than 25 individual owners, and any individual owner in a team needs to own at least one percent of the team.

Q.テつ One question regarding yesterday night's game:テつ Did you like what you saw during the USA versus rest of the world for the Rising Stars Challenge?テつ And is it something we might see in the future for the actual All‑Star Game?
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつ It sounds like you're gloating because the World team won (laughter).
I did enjoy it.テつ I thought it was an interesting format.テつ It was something new we were trying instead of the first‑year players playing the second‑years, the rookies playing the sophomores.テつ I thought there was a lot of energy out on the court.テつ I thought as a fan I enjoyed watching the game.テつ It was a great opportunity for those players to display their skills to the world and to the people here in Brooklyn.
So I was very happy with it.

Q.テつ And implementing it for an All‑Star Game in the future?
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつ The issue doing it for an All‑Star team is it worked out this year, that when we took the pool of our best first‑ and second‑year players, they were roughly divided between U.S. players and so‑called World players.テつ The issue for us with doing it for all the All Stars is it ultimately may be unfair to U.S. players, or to the World players, depending on the pool, of course that if you arbitrarily say, half the team has to be from the world, and half the team has to be from the U.S.テつ For the All‑Star team itself, we want to ensure it's our very best players who are All Stars.
So it's something that I'm open‑minded, and I'm sure it will come up in other contexts here on how exactly we select the All‑Star team.テつ Ultimately we want to ensure we have our best players and most deserving players on the court.

Q.テつ Question about the game we are seeing this season:テつ Do you consider that in some way the top teams are following the San Antonio Spurs' path and moving more the ball faster?テつ Do you like this style?
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつ I love that style of basketball.テつ I think I said it when the San Antonio Spurs won the championships.テつ I thought it was an incredible display of basketball.テつ It goes to the very values and essence of the game that we teach the kids.テつ It's the basketball played at its highest level.テつ It's team basketball.テつ Frankly, if you look at that team, of course they have Tim Duncan, who is a former No. 1 pick, I believe the next highest draft pick on that team was Kawhi Leonard at No. 15.テつ So it's just demonstrates that in this league it's not all about getting a top draft choice.テつテつ
I thgink it's wonderful basketball to the extent it's emulated by other teams.テつ I'm all in favor of that.テつ There may be a similarity, as you point out, to the way the Atlanta Hawks play the game.テつ Of course, their coach, our All‑Star coach, Mike Budenholzer, came directly from that system.テつ So maybe it's no coincidence at all.

Q.テつ I know you just got a chance to visit the Bay Area and I'm wondering what you think of the Warriors' latest plans for their arena in San Francisco?
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつ I was just in the Bay Area.テつ I also got an opportunity to tour the new arena site in Sacramento.テつ I'm thrilled that in that case that they've actually at the point where they're pouring concrete already for that building, and it's on progress, on budget.テつ So that's wonderful to see another terrific state‑of‑the‑art arena in the NBA.
In San Francisco I've seen the plans, I've sat with ownership there.テつ And I think it looks fantastic.テつ It's an incredible undertaking to build a new arena in San Francisco.テつ They intend to privately finance it.テつ I think it's an incredible contribution on the part of those owners.テつ It always amazes me in this day and age when there aren't great state‑of‑the‑art arenas in any major city, because these are multi‑use facilities.テつ Basketball is of course 41 regular‑season dates, some preseason.テつ Hopefully in the case of the Golden State Warriors this year for them, a lot of playoff dates.テつ But the majority of the dates are used for other programming in the community, whether it's circus, ice shows, graduations, you name it, concerts.
I think in San Francisco it's on track and it's going to be another great facility in this league.

Q.テつ Adam, on playoffs and possible changes, when you read the room with your owners, what's the feedback?テつ What kind of split might you have when it comes to the idea of change?テつ And then do you think this postseason coming up will have any more of a ripple effect than maybe years past in terms of which teams get in?
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつ Obviously, Sam, just to be clear we're not talking about any changes for this year.
In terms of our owners, I haven't polled them necessarily on this issue yet.テつ And this process should work its way through the Competition Committee.テつ As you might imagine, there are certain Eastern Conference owners who like the status quo and certain Western Conference owners who are saying change is due.
But on the other hand, I think we have a group of owners who are willing to take a long‑term view ultimately.テつ They understand over time that we're in a highly competitive marketplace.テつ That we want to put our best foot forward.テつ That we want the best product on the court.テつ That's been the way they've approached all our issues.
So as I said, I think it's a difficult issue, because there are no perfect solutions.テつ And on one hand to the extent you increase the amount of travel, it goes directly against my first issue on reducing wear and tear on our players, and ensuring that on any given night our players are playing at the optimum level.
It's early days but we're going to take a very hard look at it.

Q.テつ Adam, as far as your scheduling concerns, what role could a concentrated preseason play in helping with that issue?テつ And how likely will we see some changes there soon?
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつ Actually in response to Sam's question, I have talked to a lot of our basketball people about the preseason.テつ And my sense is, that while they still feel a training camp and a fairly long training camp is still critically important, especially because we have a lot of young players in this league and there isn't a lot of practice time once the season starts, I think they don't think the preseason games are as valuable as they once were, in terms of the conditioning of their players, in terms of getting a chance to truly observe players in game conditions.
So I could see a scenario where while we'll continue to have a fairly lengthy preseason, we may be able to shorten it a little bit, and that will help with some of our scheduling issues, and we may be able to reduce the number of preseason games.

Q.テつ Commissioner, Portland has put in a bid to host the 2017 or '18 All‑Star Game.テつ What's the likelihood that they could get one of those dates and the challenges that they may have to go through?
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつ Too early to say.テつ What we've talked to Portland about and other interested cities for beyond Toronto, which is next year's All‑Star Game, is one of the issues historically for communities like Portland is frankly the number of hotel rooms.テつ As I said, we have 1,800 credentialed members of the media alone in need of hotel rooms.テつ Then we have thousands of guests who come to town as well.
So I would love to end up having an All‑Star Game in Portland.テつ It's really just a function of ensuring that we can fit in town.

Q.テつ Adam, one of your clear objectives during collective bargaining was to competitively rebalance the league, give everyone a well‑managed and fair chance.テつ But if the TV money all comes in all at once in two years, you could have a situation where the Lakers would have as much as $80 million of cap room.テつ The Knicks could have 50.テつ Miami, although you don't consider that a large city, but still a free agent destination, could have 60 million in cap room.テつ Did you anticipate this potential consequence of what's otherwise a good problem to have a lot of money coming in, but to also have an undoing of the progress made on competitive balance?テつ And what is, in your opinion, a realistic, negotiated solution to the problem?
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつ Well, when you say did we anticipate it, it's what our system is.テつ The players receive on a sliding scale roughly‑‑ it ranges from 49 to 51 percent, as we negotiated the deal.テつ And because of the revenue targets we hit, the players will receive 51 percent of the new television money.
And so, no, at the time we negotiated the deal, we weren't projecting that our television increases would be as large as they are‑‑

Q.テつ I'm sorry.テつ I meant when you negotiated the television deal.
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつ No, when we negotiated the collective bargaining agreement we weren't then anticipating that this many years out that we would have this quick a jump in our television rights fees, but that's where the market has taken us.テつ As a result of those big increases that we know will now come in in the 2016‑'17 season, we approached the Union with a so‑called smoothing concept.テつ And just so it's clear, under that smoothing concept, the players would still receive 51 percent of the money that year.テつ But what we proposed is that we would lower the cap, artificially as the Union has characterized it to a lower level, then what would otherwise be 51 percent of the revenue.テつ The delta between where we lowered it and the 51 percent would be paid in a lump sum to the Union to be distributed to all the players.テつ And in that way‑ and this goes to the essence of your question‑ there would be a smoothing in of the increases, and you wouldn't see a one‑year spike in the salary cap.
That's something we presented to the Union.テつ Ultimately it's up to them to decide what is in the interest of the Players' Association.テつ I have a feeling there will be additional discussions.テつ I know they had a meeting last night and they made an announcement following their meeting.テつ I haven't had a chance to engage with the Union directly since they had that meeting last night.テつ My sense is there will be additional discussions.テつ But ultimately that is what our system is under the current collective bargaining agreement.
And it's like a lot of things in business and in sports that you sort of you deal with this situation as it's presented to you.テつ And I don't want to act like it's a terrible problem to have, where we're thrilled that based on the interest in the NBA we're able to command these big increases in the television market.テつ And we will live with our deal.テつ It was structured in a way where 51 percent of that revenue, in essence, gets paid to our players.

Q.テつ Since one of the showcase events tonight is the three‑point shot, I thought I would ask whether you're happy or concerned about the kind of emphasis and importance that that shot has taken in the game, and whether you think that there needs to be some balancing in the future?
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつ It's such an interesting question, because just a few years ago the question was are we concerned about the all the dunking in the game?テつ So the question is are we concerned about all the great shooters in the game?テつ The answer is yes, we'd love to see a balanced game.テつ Over the years we've moved the three‑point line in, we moved it out; we experimented with that a little bit.テつ And we have incredibly smart and resourceful teams.
In terms of the whole so‑called debate about analytics, clearly this is one of the offshoots of analytics, that the teams have learned that a three‑point shot in the corner is incredibly efficient, for example, and so they're all taking advantage of it.テつ But no doubt the defenses will catch up to the offenses.
I love it.テつ I love where our game is right now.テつ I don't think it's ever been more free‑flowing, more exciting for the fans.テつ As someone who watches a lot of games on our League Pass, our national package of games, there's seemingly interesting games on every night, among our teams in the league.テつ So I'm very happy with where the game is right now.

Q.テつ Adam, on the heels of what Ken was asking, and what the Union announced last night, it sounds like they have no interest at all in smoothing, as you guys have proposed it, which is the artificial lowering of what would otherwise be the cap in '16.テつ Why isn't there any possibility or what would be the difficulty in advancing it and doing it this summer?テつ If the concern is to have it come in gradually, why not artificially increase it this summer and make it gradual that way?
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつ We don't have the money to advance.テつ The way the system works, that money is going to be paid to us by our two principal television partners, Disney and Time‑Warner in the '16 and '17 season and the players will receive their 51 percent in that season.テつ Maybe I'm missing something.テつ When you say "advance it", what do you mean by that?

Q.テつ The players eventually get their money one way or another 51 percent guaranteed, 49 or 51.テつ You guys know it's coming.テつ Players start spending in a line of credit before contracts are paid.テつ It doesn't seem like functionally that should be beyond the League's reach that there could be an increase now to allow teams to do this gradually.
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつ I guess so.テつ It's not something we ever considered.

Q.テつ Adam, with the scheduling, the making of the schedule, is there any discussion or will there be or can there be about the calendar simply starting earlier, ending later than what you already do, or are you pretty much locked into a Halloween start and a June 20th end and that's got to be the way it is?
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつ Sure, Brian.テつ And I think that goes to the earlier question about the preseason.テつ Training camp is critically important to our teams.テつ Could we shorten it up a little bit if we didn't have quite the same number of preseason games, and then add those days in the regular season, so we would gain a little bit at the beginning?テつ And the question is towards the end of this season, can we push a little bit further in June closer to the Draft?テつ I think there had been discussions‑‑ well, I wouldn't characterize them as discussions.テつ I've heard proposals about them moving The Finals past the Fourth of July.テつ Generally the view has been ‑‑ in addition it just feels out of sync once you get into the summer ‑‑テつ historically those haven't been viewed as the best television nights, once you get into July, and just in terms of households watching TV.
I will say maybe that's something we should look at, too.テつ If we're truly going to take a fresh look at this, we have to examine what the appropriate time is to begin the season and when we should end it.
But at least without a major overhaul in the way our season is now played, you're right, we can gain a little bit at the beginning of the season.テつ We can gain a little bit at the end.テつ When it comes to four games out of five nights and back‑to‑backs, literally every day matters.テつ So that will be helpful to pick up a few more days on both sides of the schedule.

Q.テつ Adam, you've come out and said that you think that the age limit should go up to 20.テつ Michele Roberts from the Union came out pretty staunchly that she doesn't want to see that happen.テつ First of all, how much was it a priority to you to resolve this one way or another within the breadth of issues you have within the Union?テつ You can't really compromise here; I guess not 19 1/2.テつ Where do you see this going?
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつ When you say it has to be resolved, obviously it's 19 right now.テつ We had proposed 20 the last round of collective bargaining.テつ And it remained at 19.テつ I've been very clear, when you say how big a priority is it for me?テつ I think consistent with my priority about youth basketball.テつ I think it would be much better for the game if the minimum age were 20 instead of 19.
Having said that, I do understand the other side of the issue.テつ While the Union has stated its view that they want to keep it at 19, we haven't entered collective bargaining.テつ We haven't sat across the table and discussed it with them.テつ We haven't had an opportunity to present, in essence, our side of why we think it would be beneficial not just for the league, but for the players as well.
So we'll see.テつ When we get into bargaining, I'm sure we'll discuss it.

Q.テつ I'm really glad hearing you say during your speech several times the word "value".テつ If we have good values in our basketball, we'll have not just good players, but good people.テつ What do you have planned for the coaches, the head coaches that we have in youth leagues, in order to make stronger the values that will be sustainable?テつ First question and the second one is, do you have any initiative in order to increase the sports psychology into the teams?テつ Every team has the possibility to add that, but does the League?テつ Does the NBA as a league have an initiative?
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつ I would say for your second question in terms of sports psychologists, all our teams now are involved with sports psychologists.テつ They have become very expert.テつ Many of our players individually work with sports psychologists.テつ There are team psychologists.テつ That's something we're very focused on.
To your first question about what we're doing about the value for our youth, standing right behind you, and I mentioned it before, is Jerry Colangelo, who is the Chairman of USA Basketball.テつ And through this accreditation program that is going to be launched by USA Basketball, the values of the game are a core part of it.テつ It's a core part of it, ensuring that the coaches understand that the values of the game are very much what they're going to be teaching to the kids, and then directly to the kids, ensuring that they understand it's not just about bouncing the basketball, it's not just about nutrition, it's not just about fitness.テつ It's about what this game and what sports stands for.テつ It's about integrity.テつ It's about sportsmanship.テつ Those are the values of the game important to us.

Q.テつ Can you talk a little bit about exhibition game in Johannesburg coming up in August?テつ The second question is how you foresee the basketball growth in two years on the continent of Africa?
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつ We haven't announced that game yet you just mentioned.テつ But we're getting very close to an official announcement where we're planning, under the direction of Amadou Gallo Fall, who runs our Africa office in Johannesburg, South Africa, our plan is to conduct an exhibition game comprised of NBA players.テつ We're not bringing over NBA teams in the summer, but comprised of players who want to be part of this game.
It would be the first NBA game on African soil ever.テつ And our intention is for that game to take place approximately August 1st of this coming summer.

Q.テつ The last few years there has been a pretty significant decrease in home‑court advantage for teams.テつ I think this year it's around 52 or 53 percent in terms of win percentage.テつ Some of that has been attributed to the fact that there's a decrease in number of foul calls for the home team.テつ Is that something the League has pushed for with its referees in terms of trying to eliminate home‑court advantage or how would you characterize why that is taking place?
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつ Tim, I don't know the answer to that question.テつ It's definitely not something we've pushed for.テつ I think it's one of those things that's too early to say whether that's just a statistical blip or whether there's a trend there.テつ That's just the nature of data.テつ And so there's certainly no directive about home or away.テつ It just may be that the teams as they've gotten more sophisticated in terms of analytics, they have a better understanding of defenses and offenses.テつ There's more of a focus on every game now maybe than there was historically.
But I don't know the answer to that.

Q.テつ We have alluded to it, I was down earlier at the Basketball Without Borders camp that's taking place here in the U.S.テつ I'll spare you guys the notes.テつ I'm sure you know it.テつ The number of players, the number of players who made the NBA.テつ I'm curious as you ended your address to open the night about youth basketball here and abroad.テつ So I'm curious if you can talk about how having those guys here as pseudo‑celebrities for the weekend, walk around in their gear, getting whispers from the crowd, "who are those guys", how does that help advance the global brand tack that we've talked about tonight?
COMMISSIONER SILVER:テつ In this case the opportunity was to conduct this Basketball Without Borders program in the New York area during All‑Star week.テつ That hasn't been, as you know, the centerpiece of our program at all.テつ And those camps they've taken place all over the world.テつ Many of them have been in Africa.テつ Many of them have been in Latin America.テつ I think here the opportunity I think as a reward for the very best young players to be part of All‑Star weekend, I think that advances the game in that when they go home, and other young players hear about this incredible experience they had in New York around All‑Star, I think it just makes it that much more likely that other young great athletes will turn to basketball and see what a fantastic opportunity it is to be involved with our game and one of the rewards potentially is an opportunity to be among the very best players at All‑Star.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you, Adam.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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