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September 30, 2020
Game 1: Pregame
THE MODERATOR: Good evening, everyone. Welcome to the Finals. We're going to start with our annual Commissioner's press conference. Adam?
ADAM SILVER: Thank you, Tim. It's great to be here, and it's great to see everyone. It's been quite a while. Let me begin by talking a little bit about the season. Of course it's been now the longest season in NBA history. It was almost exactly a year ago when training camps opened. As you all know, a lot has happened, both within the NBA family and of course in the country. This is a season where we lost my mentor and one of my closest friends, David Stern, and of course tragically Kobe Bryant, his daughter and their friends. And then the pandemic.
So on March 11th, as we all know, we shut down. Then we embarked on a course over the next several months of how it is, and if we would be able to, restart NBA basketball.
There were three themes we focused on: Number one, of course, was can we bring the NBA back. Number two was the health and safety of everyone involved. That meant all the stakeholders in the NBA -- players, coaches, media members, of course. Was there a possibility of having fans? All of that was on the table. And then as events unfolded in the country, social justice became one of those themes, as well. And so those were the three main factors that were all in consideration when ultimately we decided to play here in Orlando. That was a decision we made essentially in mid-May.
Just given the unpredictability of this virus, as we all now know, at the time we made that decision in mid-May, Florida had one of the lowest case rates in the country, and by the time we arrived here in early July, it had one of the highest case rates in the country. So that was something, of course, we were dealing with, as well.
Being here has taken extraordinary sacrifices by everyone involved. Of course there were the 22 teams that started here, but it was really a 30-team endeavor. It was the agreement of those eight teams that ultimately they would not be joining us in Orlando, which was enormous sacrifice on their part. As you all know, they are now in essence operating in their own mini-bubbles for their training camps.
There were the sacrifices of the players, the coaches, the staff who are here, those who left their families and friends behind, who gave up a lot of their liberties, just as many of you have, by living on this campus. There are the 6,500 people in this community in Orlando who have been servicing the people here on this campus. It's an extraordinarily high number, something I think beyond what anyone would realize from the outside.
I analogize it a bit to when you go to a movie and you see the actors on the screen and then the credits start rolling at the end, and they keep rolling and they keep rolling. That's the 6,500 people. And it's the essential workers, the people who do our testing every day, take our temperatures, clean our rooms, maintain these facilities. It's the bus drivers. It's the hotel workers. It's everyone who's been involved down here. A huge thank you to the people of Orange County, Florida, who have taken such good care of us over our time here.
There are several thank-yous. I made a list. I'm sure I'm leaving some names off but a few I wanted to be sure I focused on. First of all, from the Disney Company, Bob Iger, who's now the executive chairman of Disney. This certainly would not have happened without him. I think when he and I first started discussing this in May, it seemed truly a pipe dream. Even this notion that there would be something called a bubble that we would play in, that there would be these protocols. I think he may have said to me, "Are you serious?" I wasn't really, initially. It wasn't my idea. And I resisted it, frankly. I said, it's just not realistic, given the number of games we wanted to play. But somehow it came together.
Bob Chapek, the CEO of Disney, was a huge supporter of this; Josh D'Amaro, who's chairman of all the parks; Jeff Vahle, who's the president of this park of Disney World, a huge thank you to all of you. And Roz Durant. Many of you know, she was formerly of ESPN, where we first met. Then she got promoted into a senior vice president at Disney. She's been our day-to-day contact here, and she's made all this happen.
I want to thank Alex Martins, who's the CEO of the Orlando Magic. He was one of the initial people, too, when there were some rumors in the media of other cities we were considering, he of course called me and said, "But you are focused on Orlando?" And honestly I wasn't initially, and so Alex on behalf of his community, and has a strong relationship with the Disney folks, they wear their name on their uniforms, he was someone who pushed hard and knows this community well. So thank you to Alex.
From the Players Association, of course Michele Roberts, the executive director. She's been our partner in everything we've done down here. Chris Paul, the president of the Players Association. I think from the night we shut down on March 11th, of course the initial positive test was in Oklahoma City where they were playing that night against the Utah Jazz. We'd begun talking that night and have been talking virtually daily ever since.
There are two other players on their executive committee I'd also like to single out: That is Kyle Lowry, of course of the Toronto Raptors, and Dwight Powell from the Dallas Mavericks. Those three players, Chris, Kyle and Dwight, had a weekly call with a group of us at the league office. Those were in that small group where we could have really honest, direct conversations with each other about understanding truly the needs of the players, of the teams, of the league. I want to thank those three players in particular, together with their executive committee.
From the NBA, my partner and colleague, Mark Tatum, our chief operating officer and deputy commissioner, who's here and spent much of the summer down on the campus here. Thank you personally, Mark.
Byron Spruell, our chief of basketball operations, who's been down here the entire time, as well. They really made this happen from a league standpoint.
A few others, the media here who are in Orlando know these folks well because of their day-to-day roles: Kelly Flatow, who is head of our events. I mean, she's in essence the concierge of this community. Everything from making sure the buses run on time to those of you in this room who requested feather pillows, I know who you are, I've got the list. I know all the personal requests that everyone here has made -- flat water, bubbly water, I know it all. Kelly has been remarkable.
David Weiss, many may not know him, but he has taken on the role of sort of chief of medical protocol at the league office. He's not a doctor, but he's in essence a scientist and has become one. He's become an expert on everything about COVID-19, about the virus, about testing. He in essence designed, together with a panel of doctors, much of the protocol we're operating under.
And just a few others real quickly: Dr. David Ho. Many of you may remember that when I got to the NBA in the early '90s, he was the lead HIV/AIDS researcher. And I think Magic Johnson has credited Dr. Ho with saving his life. He is someone that I have maintained a personal relationship with over all these years. Coincidentally, we ran into each other at a Brooklyn Nets game in January, when people were beginning to hear about this coronavirus in China. I was telling him what I was hearing from our offices in China. Again, this is what he does, so he now at Columbia University was already studying this virus in his lab. And then he, beginning at that point in January, became our lead scientist expert in helping us navigate through this virus. So a personal thank you to Dr. Ho.
Just two more: Dr. John DiFiori, the chief of medical operations for the league, and Leroy Sims. Many of you know, as well, Dr. Sims. Those two doctors, league physicians, who have really taken care of everyone on campus and have been truly remarkable in just their commitment to everyone's health and well-being.
Lastly, of course, I want to congratulate the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers. To the Arison family, Pat Riley, Erik Spoelstra, just fantastic what you've accomplished this season. And to the Lakers, Jeanie Buss, the Buss family, one of the longest-standing family ownership groups in the league. I say Jeanie and Micky Arison have both been sort of in the group of owners that I've been in regular touch with and been great advisors throughout this whole process. Rob Pelinka, the general manager, of course Frank Vogel, has done an incredible job coaching.
So here we are on the eve of Game 1. You all have been here watching this basketball. It's been historic. I think not just because of the circumstances we're playing in but the quality of the competition on the floor, the individual player performances, and I think this is -- now back to basketball is hugely anticipated. We have a global audience. I'm really looking forward to it. With that, I'm happy to answer any questions.
Q. You've referenced many times, and so has Michele, that this was an extraordinary cooperative effort to get to tonight, to get to July 30th in the first place. Going forward, how would you identify some of the challenges that you guys are going to have to continue that spirit of cooperation, and how soon do you think that process will begin as far as figuring out the revenue, figuring out all the dirty details before you get into next season?
ADAM SILVER: Yeah, sure. The process has begun already. In fact, we identified this probably in July when we talked to our teams. They actually said to the league office,
"You're all working so hard, we want to make sure that you're also focused on next season." And so within the league office, one of my colleagues, Amy Brooks, has been leading a separate team focused just on that, on what next season will look like, when the appropriate time is to start, what the protocols should be.
I think we all know, nothing has really changed in this virus, as far as I know. In fact, I think the majority of states right now, cases are ticking back up again. There's predictions of a combination of flu and coronavirus season, what that will mean. People are moving back indoors. In some cases, people have COVID fatigue and aren't following the same protocols.
And so in many ways we're looking at a lot of the same factors we looked at determining what to do this season. There is advancements clearly in the treatment of people once they get the disease. I'm hopeful that as we continue to study advancements in testing that, for example, rapid testing could make a big difference in terms of our ability to potentially get fans in buildings. I think to identify quickly a player who is positive, sort of we're seeing that in the NFL right now, watching closely what's happening with that protocol, can they play through it, how will that work, will there be additional spread once they've identified a player that has it.
So those are all the things we're looking at. And as you know, in terms of Michele and the players as our partners, because by definition everything that we're doing exists outside the current collective bargaining agreement, we need to negotiate everything -- when training camp starts, when we start, how we're going to continue operating potentially under reduced BRI frankly. So those discussions are ongoing.
My sense is even though we've been at it with them for quite some time, given where we are, Game 1 of the Finals, and that roughly two weeks from now we'll be done, I don't think those conversations are going to happen in sort of as an intense a fashion as they ultimately will need to probably until we're finished down here. But I think we all understand the essential parameters. And in some of those conversations that I mentioned earlier that I'm also having with individual players, I think everybody understands just like in the country, there's public health considerations, but the economy is a public health issue, as well, working and trying to strike that right balance.
So in this case, part of my job is to study what's happening in other industries, what other leagues are doing, including international soccer leagues. So all of that's on the table right now.
Q. When the boycott happened, how did you find out about it and how did you help get things back on course? The second thing, when you talked to owners, what were the biggest challenges and biggest triumphs in get being "Black Lives Matter" on the floor and all the social justice jerseys, everything from a social justice standpoint that we're seeing here?
ADAM SILVER: Number one, I prefer not to refer to it as a boycott. To me, a boycott is when your employees or a group of people are seeking through economic leverage to change the conduct of somebody. I felt in this case, in our partnership with the players, I understood how -- after the fact understood more about how it unfolded with the Milwaukee Bucks. But I never viewed this as necessarily aimed at the league. I think there was a larger message that the players wanted to make here. I prefer to view it as a work stoppage.
I found out about it as it was happening in real time. There of course had been rumors; many of you in this room had written early in the day that there was some contemplation. I was on the phone early in the day with Chris Paul, who was here at the time. I was on the phone with Michele, who was then and still is here, and I think it was the sense earlier in the day that the games were going to play on that night. As we all now know, there was a spontaneous aspect to it. Certainly people had thought about it.
I was at home but colleagues who were here were in the arena, and again, as we all now know, certainly the Orlando Magic did not know this was happening because they were on the floor warming up. But then I was called and told the Milwaukee Bucks are not coming out of their locker room, and then I think for the next two days or so it was pretty much round-the-clock talking to groups of players, groups of team executives who were here, groups of governors who weren't here. We just were seeking to work through the issues.
In terms of the social justice messages, "Black Lives Matter" on the court, the words that are on the jerseys, that was something that was initiated by the Players' Association. Again, as I said earlier, there were really three factors in terms of how it was that we would restart, and social justice was one of them.
I'd say to me, certainly it began with what's important to our players is important to us, but it wasn't just our players. The players know and the NBA community knows there's a long history in this league of fighting for social justice, for racial equality. And it seemed appropriate.
These were decisions that were made quickly in terms of standing up this restart. I think there was some misunderstanding around some of the messages sort of that there was a sense of censorship, that why aren't these other messages. But these were messages that were proposed by the players through the Players Association and agreed to after some discussion with the league.
And I've said since then that I viewed this as extraordinary circumstances. I understand, put aside the substance of the message, there are a lot of fans, especially given all that's going on in the world right now, who look to sports as a respite. My response is that, again, I'm listening. And I understand that point of view, too. But these are unique times, and I think that given the circumstances, I still firmly believe it was and is the right thing to do.
Q. What does next season realistically look like for you as far as a start date, an end date and will there be fans at the beginning, limited fans? I know I'm getting at a lot, but how much can the league withstand to not have fans in arenas for a portion of next season?
ADAM SILVER: I don't know the answer to most of your questions. I've said previously that the earliest we would start at this point is Christmas. That's been a traditional tentpole date for the league, but it may come and go. I've also said probably the greater likelihood is we'll start in January. But remember, if we start in January, it means training camps have begun roughly three weeks earlier, and part of the consideration is that for these players, as I said at the open, in the longest season in the history of the NBA, many of them have continued training throughout the break, Finals will end in roughly mid-October, and they need a break physically and mentally. There's no question about that.
So that gets us clearly into December. So as I said, Christmas the earliest, more likely January.
As for fans in seats, it's certainly our goal, but it's dependent on some additional advancements. Rapid testing may be the key here. Think of where we started. Remember when we were first coming in Orlando, one of the biggest considerations, and we talked openly about this, was will there be sufficient testing. We're now at the point just in Florida where roughly a quarter of the population of the state has now been tested. Over 5 million people in the state have been tested. There appears to be ample testing. But in terms of the traditional PCR test, the test that many of you are doing that you take and come back the next day, the question is will there be truly rapid testing, point of care testing, don't get sent to a lab, instant results. There are a lot of pharmaceutical companies focused on that. There's a huge marketplace for that. So we're somewhat dependent. David Weiss, who I mentioned earlier, along with Dr. David Ho, are leading our own research efforts. We've been part of an initiative called Saliva Direct, working with Yale University. So we've been active in that area, as well.
I think we'll see, and I think it's why I mentioned also earlier look what happened between our decision to come here in May and then July. I think a lot could change between now and then. I think as I said, we'll learn from the other leagues, as well.
Q. You've talked about sort of the start and it may be moving a bit. Is there a date on the other end where you feel like you have to begin, so that you are delivering to a television audience? And then my broader question is what have you learned -- no one has ever done anything like this before, really in the country, much less in sports, and what have you learned from the past two or three months that you are going to apply going forward?
ADAM SILVER: In terms of your first question, the issue becomes, and the players have raised this, as well, in addition to the desire of many players to have some normalcy in the summer, they have families, kids. Understandable, trying to find the right balance. The question is when do we get back on cycle. And I think even though there's been discussions about us potentially on a regular basis post-COVID playing well into the summer, I think we're learning a little bit more about our television audience as we are experimenting, and part of it is fewer people are watching television in the summer, different competition, especially when you get into the fall with the NFL, college football and all that. So that's all into the mix, as well.
I would say your network, ESPN, has been great, as has Turner, just because these are such highly unusual circumstances. Everyone has said, well, all rules are off, let's just figure out what makes sense.
There is the issue of the Olympics. I talked a little bit about that. But part of even factoring that as a consideration, it's not absolutely clear what's going to happen with the Olympics. But again, we have to strike the right balance there.
In terms of what we've learned, I think first and foremost it's a message -- I don't want to sound too grandiose -- to the country, and that is that the basic protocols that we're all following are working. I mean, the testing is only needed to demonstrate that at this point. By wearing a mask, by exercising appropriate protocols, hand washing, appropriate cleanliness, et cetera, by maintaining physical distance, as the cameras can show as you are all sitting in this room, that's what's working. And what's different for the NBA, and we knew this setting out, there are many industries, certainly when we're back at the league office and we've reopened, we can go into the office and work the same way all of you are here. We can be physically distant and it does make a difference. I mean, for as great as all this video technology is, it makes a difference. It's wonderful to see all of you. It does make a difference.
But what our athletes are doing are taking off their masks and breathing each other's air. That's where -- we're seeing this in the NFL, too, that you need to test on a regular basis. Not because the testing obviously prevents anyone from getting it, but by quickly isolating that player, it's going to avoid spread and avoid infecting others, as well.
I think we're learning that it can be done, that you can strike a balance between public health and economic necessity, and that's what we're seeing in this country. They're all valid, and it's not just whatever the scientists say and it's not just whatever the politicians say. Ultimately the people in government have to make these decisions. But all of these are public health issues, not just COVID-19.
Q. It seemed like biweekly we were getting COVID test results from the campus and then they just stopped. I want to say it's been well over a month and we haven't gotten any updates. Is there any reason behind why that's ceased?
ADAM SILVER: That's Mike Bass, our head of communications. I don't know why they stopped. Honestly, I think they stopped because we have had no new news to report. We have had zero cases, as you all know because you're here, you would have heard, among players, among league -- among team staff working on campus. This program is working.
I should say it doesn't mean there have been no positive cases. As I mentioned earlier, there's 6,500 people working to stand up this campus, and many of them go on and off the campus and many of them are not tested on a regular basis. There's a program, there's voluntary testing, and some of them have tested positive. I think it just demonstrates that these protocols we're all following are working, the fact that somebody could test positive, be isolated, get treated and haven't affected others, and with a bit of luck, honestly, too.
That's why until we -- whenever these Finals end, we always have to recognize that something could happen. I don't anticipate it and everything has worked well, but it's just how vigilant everybody has to continue being on this campus.
Q. The NBA is an international league, there is a border in play, and as you look forward to next year, how much consideration has the team you've had working on next year given to what may be needed to take into consideration for the U.S.-Canadian border?
ADAM SILVER: It's a good question, although there's not a lot we can do about it. It's interesting, to Canada's credit, they've approached this in a certain way, and it seems like they've found a fair balance between their health and safety considerations and their economic needs, and they've had an extraordinarily low case rate. And they've been extremely cautious sort of in their rules, and obviously baseball hasn't played a single game there as a result. So Larry Tanenbaum, who's the Governor of the Toronto Raptors, is also our chairman of the board. So it's something we've been very focused on, and I think just to the earlier questions, we're going to have to wait and see.
Obviously it's one of those things that's going to be outside of our control, and if -- I know Larry has had on-going conversations, as has Masai Ujiri, with government officials in Canada to see how they're going to be looking at things this fall, but it's just too early to know. But we will obviously have to work with whatever rules we're presented with there.
Q. To go back to what was said at the beginning, when you were talking about the possibility of lower BRI next year and the negotiation with the players, do you have any expectations of any labor issues between now and the start of next season?
ADAM SILVER: I don't have any expectations of labor issues, I think, in the way you're suggesting it, meaning that we won't be able to resolve them. There's no doubt there are issues on the table that need to be negotiated. I think it's -- we've managed to work through every other issue so far. I think we have a constructive relationship with them. We share all information. We look at our various business models together.
So I think while no doubt there will be issues and there will be some difficult negotiations ahead, I fully expect we'll work them out, as we always have.
Q. You mentioned about some of the safety protocols and the rapid testing; do you see a vaccine as a prerequisite to having games with fans, or do you think that there's ways to work around them if there isn't a proven and safe vaccine by the time you hope the season can start?
ADAM SILVER: Based on everything I've read, there's almost no chance that there will be a vaccine, at least that is widely distributed, before we start the next season. So I do not see the development of a vaccine as a prerequisite. My sense is that with rapid testing, if you -- it may not be that we'll have 19,000 people in the building, we'll see, but that with appropriate protocols in terms of distancing and with advanced testing that you will be able to bring fans back into arenas.
Again, it's early days. You know, and many of these decisions -- to the earlier question about what's Canada going to do, we also have to deal with state by state and in some cases city by city restrictions on how many people can gather, as well. Again, I'm hopeful that based on what we're learning, based on protocols, based on testing, we will be able to have games with fans next season prior to full distribution of a vaccine.
Q. There are two teams here, 28 teams that aren't, that are looking for direction in this offseason in terms of what the salary cap is going to look like, when the draft is going to be, when free agency is going to start. How soon do those questions need to be answered for those teams?
ADAM SILVER: Well, as you know, we have posted a date [Nov. 18] for the draft. I mean, there's a little asterisk next to it, saying it possibly could change, but that date has been essentially locked in. We're targeting that. And we understand in terms of operating a team, they don't necessarily need to know what the cap and tax are exactly, because they never do. The draft always comes in June before we set the cap and tax, but they have a pretty good idea because of the guidance we provide them throughout the season. In this case we recognize we need to be in a position to give them guidance. Maybe we won't be completed on everything that we need to work out with the Players Association, but that guidance will come, and it's going to come based on discussions we're having with the Players Association on how to set the cap and tax.
And I'll just add that because it's such a unique time, this almost -- almost by definition, as I said earlier, everything we're doing is outside of the collective bargaining agreement because if we just went by the formula in the collective bargaining agreement, we'd have a huge reduction in the cap and tax, and not only would it create havoc in terms of planning purposes for our teams, but I think roughly a third of the league would be free agents, and so there would be enormous inequity there because there would be no cap room for those players to sign contracts.
So I think this is where the Players Association also has to work through issues among themselves and sort of an equitable distribution in terms of wherever -- whatever the pool of salary is that we have to distribute next year.
So again, I think to the earlier questions, these issues are a bit complicated and difficult in many cases, but no reason to believe that with our counterparts at the Players Association that we won't be able to work through them, just as we have all the other issues that are allowing us to play right now.
Q. With Nate McMillan, Alvin Gentry and Doc Rivers losing their jobs, you're down to four African-American coaches. The hiring of Steve Nash, there was kind of a perception that it was kind of a good ol' boys network thing. What can the league do about only having four African-American coaches, and should teams be able to hire who they want? Should there be a Rooney Rule? How should this go?
ADAM SILVER: The answer is ultimately yes to should the teams be able to hire who they want. I don't see a way to operate a league where the league office, the Commissioner is dictating to a team who they should or shouldn't hire or who she should or shouldn't fire, frankly. That's the other side of the coin.
Having said that, I know we can do better. We have six openings right now. We're in discussions with all of those teams about making sure there's a diverse slate of candidates.
You know, we've looked at what might be an equivalent to a Rooney type rule in the NBA, and I'm not sure it makes sense. I'm open-minded if there are other ways to address it.
There is a certain natural ebb and flow to the hiring and firing, frankly, of coaches, but the number is too low right now. And again, I think we should -- let's talk again after we fill these six positions and see where we are, because I know we can do better, and I think we will do better.
Q. I wonder from a personal level, it wasn't that long ago when you were sitting at the Sloan Conference talking about the mental health of your players, and then here we are in this environment where the mental health challenges have been pretty well chronicled. You had Paul George talking about his struggles, Michael Malone was frustrated with the family situation. Knowing how invested you are with the whole group, just how has that element sat with you? What observations have you made, and do you think that was handled the way you would like to have had it handled?
ADAM SILVER: Number one, I'm extraordinarily proud of those players, coaches, team execs for their willingness to talk openly about those issues. A lot has changed since I sat on this stage at that Sloan Conference with Bill Simmons talking about these issues, and it was -- it got a lot of attention I think when I did then because Kevin Love had begun talking about it, DeMar DeRozan, but it wasn't something players were generally talking about. And so much credit goes to those two guys because teams have radically shifted in their approach to mental wellness. There have been a significant number of new positions at teams to focus on these issues. And to me as step one, you need to be able to talk about these things, and many players have talked about those issues here that have become amplified because of the community everyone here is living in. But many of those issues preexisted living in this bubble.
Number one, I think just ability to address it, and everyone here knows when you're living on this campus, you fill out a health survey every day, and there's only two or three questions, and one of the questions is, do you need to talk to someone about mental health? And so I'm proud of that as a league that that's a huge advancement.
Now to the substance, maybe even more importantly. I did hear from many members living down in this community that many of their family members here, sooner they needed us to liberalize the rules in terms of allowing friends and family members on. We did make some adjustments, but as I was saying earlier, it's all a balancing act. There was no doubt, if you talked to our panel of scientists, doctors, experts, they say especially when you start introducing new people into the environment, as the season went on, the playoffs went on, you were introducing additional risks. On the other hand you had the mental wellness of people who were separated from partners, spouses, children for long periods of time.
And so it did weigh heavily on me. Ultimately I take responsibility for those decisions. I think as I was saying earlier, it's not -- you can't say it's just the doctors and it's not just the teams who make these decisions. Ultimately it's my job to balance all of these factors.
As I said, so we made some adjustments as we went, and I think it also helped me realize that people can only -- these are extraordinary circumstances that -- and I think a lot of people viewed this as once in a lifetime. But now as we look to next season, what's changed? Will we be able to operate sort of as the NFL is right now, for example, where guys play and they go home at night and they're with their families and they get tested? So that's something we're looking at. Will we need to operate in some sort of bubble or campus? And if we did or maybe for the portion of the season, and how reasonably long now that people have experienced it? You know, can people really continue and thrive in this environment?
One of the reasons many of the other players who were here wanted the eight teams who didn't experience Orlando in essence to play in mini-bubbles of their own is so that when they came together as a Players Association there was at least a common base of facts so that everyone as they were collectively making those decisions had a sense of the sacrifices that come with playing in an environment like this.
As I said, I'm hoping ideally we would not return to a bubble environment, but it's something we're going to have to continue looking at.
Q. You said you thought the bubble was realistic, and now it's probably an example of how to do things during the pandemic from a sports point of view. Which is the thing you are most proud of in terms of what you guys accomplished down there?
ADAM SILVER: Thank you for the question. I'd say I'm most proud that we collectively came together as a community and pulled this off. By that I mean all of the stakeholders. The players, the team governors, 30 teams, not just 22 teams, the support we received from our fans who have been of course watching these games and participating in social media. Our team communities, both back home where the teams play and the community here, the greater community in Orlando who's been participating. And especially frankly given all the division in our country right now, the fact that people could set their minds to something, come together, make enormous sacrifices, compromise. This required a lot of compromise on everybody's part, and then pulled this off. Again, there's always this [crosses fingers], because it's something that everyone should share in. The pride of the sense that we've accomplished this against many obstacles, and at a time also when I think people needed to see this, and I'll just maybe end with this comment, that sort of one of the bedrock principles always of this league has been to inspire people and to bring people together, and hopefully we have inspired people, that by seeing these players on the floor despite missing their families and playing in isolation and turmoil in their communities and social justice issues, that they're doing their jobs and they're making it work.
I think that is inspiring. And I think it's also an opportunity to see people come together through the commonality of sports, that it's something that -- especially given the last questioner; the fact is this is something that people are following globally. This isn't just uniquely a U.S. issue, and it's something in the time of a pandemic that's affecting everyone in the world. People can have that commonality of loving NBA basketball.
So I'd say those are the things I'm most proud of.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much, Adam, and thanks to all of you in attendance here and also virtually. Enjoy the game tonight.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports