Silver: Star players should have played more

NEW YORK – NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Wednesday that while there was no specific discussion about impending arbitration between Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers, said his biggest concern going forward is “a trend of star players not fully participating in more games,” and he hopes the league and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) can address it.

“I’m not saying I have a great solution,” Silver said at a news conference in midtown Manhattan after this week’s two-day Board of Governors meeting. “Part of the problem is injuries. One of the things that we have focused on in the La Liga office and are looking at is that we had started to spend a lot of time pre-pandemic, but are there things we can do in terms of sharing? information, resources around the League to improve best practices, rehabilitation?

“The other way we can do that, in terms of player engagement, is by creating other incentives. The Play-In Tournament, I thought, was the beginning of creating renewed incentives for teams to stay competitive and fight for Playoff position. It can be through tournaments during the season and changes in the format.

Silver went on to say that there is even the possibility of changing the 82-game schedule. While he hinted at it in earlier parts of his response, he has done little to hide his desire about creating an in-season tournament and also said on Wednesday that he is happy with the way the Play-in has gone in the past. during the two seasons in which it was introduced.

“I’ve also said in the past that if we have too many games, that’s something we should consider as well,” Silver said. “It’s something, while we sit down and look at new deals with the media and a new collective bargaining agreement, we’ll look into it. There was no banging on the table or anything like that. From my conversations with the players, they recognize that it’s also an issue. “The style of the game has changed in terms of the impact on their bodies. I think we have to constantly assess and look at a market going forward and say what is the best way to present our product and for how long in a season?”

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Bobby Marks and Ramona Shelburne reported over the weekend that Simmons filed a grievance challenging the nearly $20 million salary the 76ers withheld from him this season.

The complaint, which will now go to arbitration, could have broader implications for the league amid future mental health issues and NBA contracts.

Silver said the League would have no direct involvement in such arbitration and that the League would remain on the sidelines during the litigation.

Other tracks Silver played included:

* Silver said that despite anti-LBGTQ legislation recently being passed in Utah, the NBA has not discussed changing next year’s All-Star Game and does not anticipate doing so.

When asked what the difference was between this decision and the decision to trade Charlotte’s All-Star Game a few years ago for a similar bill, Silver said, “Every situation is unique. In the case of 2017 and HB2 in Carolina del Norte, they were working directly with the team there, and we felt like there was an opportunity to have a direct impact on that law, working with the broader business community.

“It is our collective opinion that we can continue to operate in Utah, and frankly, we don’t want to be in a position where we are being hounded from state to state across the country,” he said. “Times have changed. There are different problems now in the country than in 2017. Personally, I don’t like the trend. We are also aware as a League that we look for opportunities to bring people together instead of dividing them.

“I would just say that I have great respect for (Jazz owner) Ryan Smith. I think he opposed this bill. We joined him in opposing this bill. But we also want to be realistic, too, in terms of than we can have. In the case of HB2 in North Carolina, I think it was our collective opinion, working with the Hornets, that we could have an impact on that legislation. I think in the case of what’s happening in Utah in right now, that bill is set.”

Asked if there was an update on the investigation into Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver’s conduct following ESPN’s investigation last fall, Silver said there was none and he would not share a timeline for when it would be completed. .

“The investigation is ongoing,” Silver said. “I mean, these kinds of investigations take a long time. They want to make sure they get all the facts and they also want to make sure they protect the rights of the accused. We’re certainly closer to the end than the beginning, but it’s hard to put a precise timeline on it.” right now”.

He gave a similar response when asked about the league’s involvement in the lawsuit former Dallas Mavericks general manager Donnie Nelson filed against the team.

“Our only involvement at the moment is to monitor the situation. Generally, as you can imagine, within an executive committee, there is a council report to our owners,” he said. “But for the most part, our teams go to the League office to oversee investigations and that’s the way it always has been.”

As for the tweaks to the game itself, Silver reiterated that he’s very happy with the Play-in tournament and hopes it will continue to be a part of the League in the future, though he did say some tweaks could be made.

He also added that the idea of ​​removing the “take four,” a foul committed to intentionally stop fast breaks before they start, could happen next season, though hurdles remain before it can be changed.

“That’s something, as you know, that we’re very focused on and considering making a change for next season,” Silver said, referring to eliminating the free kick. “We still have work to do with our competition committee. We’ll be meeting with the board again in July, which would be a possible time to change that rule. But since we’re seeing kind of a pretty dramatic increase in foul taking, we don’t think It’s a big part of our game. International basketball has another way of approaching it, but that’s something we’d potentially like to change.”

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Silver: Star players should have played more