When Adam Silver replaced David Stern as the NBA commissioner on February 1, 2014, he already had big plans in mind. He wants the NBA to continue to grow and eventually become internationally known as the best sport in the entire world.
Silver has a ton of ideas to improve the league and he currently shared a lot of those ideas with the media.
"This is a fabulous league that has its best years still ahead of it," Silver said.
Age Limit/NBA Draft
Commissioner Silver believes that the competition in the NBA would greatly improve by changing the league’s minimum age requirement from 19 years old to 20. This would force many young athletes to stay in college for at least two seasons as opposed to just one season.
"It is my belief that if players have an opportunity to mature as players and as people, for a longer amount of time before they come into the league, it will lead to a better league," Silver said. "And I know from a competitive standpoint that's something as I travel the league I increasingly hear from our coaches, especially, who feel that many of even the top players in the league could use more time to develop even as leaders as part of college programs."
Currently the length of the NBA’s regular season is 82 games. Commissioner Silver believes that’s the right amount of games for the league, but he is in favor of a longer midseason break. Currently the NBA shuts down for just four days, Friday-Monday, for All-Star Weekend.
"That's something I've heard directly from players on," Silver said. "They're saying that if they could get a few more days off around All-Star, especially the All-Stars, I think, who as we know are so busy over the course of these few days, it would be helpful to them to get some additional rest."
NBA jerseys currently sell like hot cakes, including the Christmas Day sleeved jerseys. However, some players have complained about the comfort of the uniforms.
Silver is aware of the player’s complaints but offered no promise on changing the jerseys any time soon. He did mention, however, that the league is “not close at the moment” on listing sponsors on jerseys but he believes it “ultimately will happen.”
Although the NBA is always looking for new ways to make money, Silver has no plans to expand the league at this moment. Instead he plans to focus on helping the 30 teams currently in the NBA become as competitive as possible.
"It's not on the top of my list right now," Silver said.
"My job is to ensure that 30 teams are healthy and competitive, and so that's what my priority is right now as opposed to expansion."
The biggest change Commissioner Silver hinted at was the possibility of a hard salary cap, similar to what the National Football League uses.
Most owners are in favor of an NFL-like salary cap that would never allow teams to exceed the league’s spending limit.
"I would like a harder system to distribute players better as opposed to the tax system we have in place now," Silver said.
If it Makes Cents…
Typically if it makes cents, it makes sense. Although players would love to do away with sleeved jerseys altogether, they’re not going anyways as long as they sell like hot cakes.
The idea of a hard salary cap is likely the biggest change most likely to happen under Adam Silver’s direction. Since the NFL implanted a hard salary cap, the league has taken off and become by far the most popular sport in the United States of America. A hard cap would likely mean that superstar players won’t get paid as much as they do now, but the benefits outweigh the negatives as far as the league is concerned.
A hard cap would bring parity to the league which would likely make the entire sport much more entertaining for fans to watch. More fans equal more money.
The NBA’s age limit will be the most debated potential rule change mentioned by Commissioner Silver. Some people love the idea while others absolutely hate it. Ultimately the league will have to decide if raising the age limit will actually improve their game or not.