Current NBA Commissioner David Stern is stepping down on Saturday and handing his position over to Adam Silver. Stern did a solid job over his lengthy career, but he has also seen his share of negative publicity surrounding a lot of controversy. Stern is constantly accused of fixing the NBA draft in hopes of generating more revenue for the league. For example, a lot of people thought it was strange that he chose a creased folder, which ultimately landed Patrick Ewing on the New York Knicks in the first ever NBA Draft Lottery. The pick saved basketball in New York City, and many wondered if that was coincidence or a well-designed plan laid out by Stern and his goons.
With a new commissioner, comes new hope for a league that has seen better days. LeBron James has already made the future of the league his business – as if he does not have enough influence on things as it is. He hopes set up a meeting with Silver to go over some of his ideas, but he has denied the media and fans alike any insight on his plans. Personally, I think James himself should avoid this situation, unless he is going to bring other players onboard. It seems entirely selfish of him to take the spotlight here. There are many other well-deserved voices within the NBA that also have a vision for a better tomorrow in the NBA.
Regarding the direction James may take in his meeting with Silver, here are some comments he made:
“Hopefully I can sit down with the commish and just throw out some ideas where I hope the league can be better”
“It’s not a major change, but the game can always be bigger,” James said. “There’s a lot of people who love the game who can’t watch the game, so hopefully we can [expand it].”
James also gave his best attempt to get on the commissioners good side with extremely high-praise of Silver:
“The opportunities I’ve had to be around him as he’s been the assistant commish, he’s been easy to talk to.”
“He understands the business and someone who understands what the game means to everyone — the whole pie. Best of luck to him; hopefully he can get 30 years in, too.”
If this was a game of chess, then James is making all the right moves to get himself a sit down with the Silver to discuss the state of the league. There are plenty of things I could see James pinpointing in the meeting; including the expansion of instant-replay reviews on calls throughout the game, not just in late quarter situations. Every play means something, and the league should take every step necessary to show their fans and their players that they care just as much as everyone else does.
Let us just hope James does not go in there pleading for the refs the give him more favorable calls than they already do. Even if he does not, Stern may have already but the bug in Silver’s ear about protecting their main asset — James. They say you cannot teach an old dog new tricks, but that old dog can teach the new pup a lot. I really hope the league does improve on some things, but it should not come down to what one player believes in.
Every team, player and organizations should be offered the opportunity to voice their thoughts, because there is no league to begin with without them. I would go as far to say that we fans should be heard as well, but all they care about is how much money we bring them year in and year out. Whether it is James or a group of players who come up with the bright ideas, let us all just wish for improvement in hopes of controversy-free basketball and quality competition throughout the NBA.