Adam Silver OAKLAND, CA – JUNE 02: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver addresses the media before Game 1 of the 2016 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 2, 2016 in Oakland, California. The Cleveland Cavaliers take on the Golden State Warriors in the best of seven series. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

One of the best parts of the NBA is it has a commissioner that actually answers questions directly and honestly. This is a big time of year for the NBA with the Finals starting Thursday and the draft coming up in a few weeks, so commissioner Adam Silver made some media appearances Wednesday and discussed a wide range of topics.

Let’s start with what Silver said about “superteams” on Fox Sports 1’s The Herd with Colin Cowherd:

Silver admitted that if the Warriors were to sweep the Cavs in the NBA Finals (unlikely), that would indicate an “imbalance” exists in the league. However, he also added he thinks the Warriors get too much flak as a superteam because, before the acquisition of star forward Kevin Durant last summer, they were already a superteam that grew organically through drafting and developing their stars.

Here’s what he said, starting about 42 seconds into the above video:

“Well, if [a sweep] were the case, we’d have an imbalance. But let me just step back because I think there’s a connotation around superteams, that they didn’t come together endemically. Somehow that’s a comment not about the quality of the team, but about the way they were formed. I think that where that term grew up in the NBA around the players aggregating their talents, talking in the offseason, saying alright, let’s all agree: we’re going to become free agents and we’re going to go to the following team. And I think we pretty much put an end to that. What you have in Golden State, first of all by any standard you had a superteam, the most winningest team in NBA history with 73 games last year, a team that was formed in essence through the draft and a few trades and without even a top draft pick.


“It’s something that we all marvel at and love excellence. To me, it’s something that a team that inspires people around the world. This past season, we’re gonna have close to a billion people have followed the NBA. I think it’s inspirational to see people plying their trade at the absolute highest level. … I think we should be celebrating excellence. I don’t think we should be sitting around and saying how can we take down excellence.”

A few minutes later, Silver and Cowherd discussed the one-and-done era in college basketball and the NBA. Surprisingly, Silver actually said the NBA is “rethinking” its position:

“I’m rethinking our position. Our historical position since we raised the age from 18 to 19 was that we want to go from 19 to 20, and the union’s position is they want to go from 19 to 18.

“In the last round of collective bargaining, [NBPA executive director] Michele Roberts and I both agreed, let’s get through these core economic issues in terms of renewing the collective bargaining agreement and then turn back to this age issue, because it’s one that I think we need to be more thoughtful on and not just be in an adversarial position under the bright lights of collective bargaining.”

Silver added that Ben Simmons’ revealing Showtime documentary “One & Done” influenced his thought process. It’s worth noting that after the documentary aired, NCAA president Mark Emmert said Simmons shouldn’t be angry at the NCAA, but rather the NBA for its eligibility rules.

“Their [college freshmen’s] biggest concern is not winning the NCAA Tournament but whether they drop in the draft. So then they have to be worried with how their skills are showcased, how many minutes they get, of course whether they get injured. And so it’s not a great dynamic.”

Related to the topic of one-and-dones, Silver also went on ESPN’s Mike and Mike to discuss LaVar Ball, the world’s worst sports dad and father of star UCLA product Lonzo Ball.

LaVar has been all over the news for mostly the wrong reasons with various sorts of provocative comments, although that’s simply kept his promotional machine rolling. Still, LaVar has failed to sign his son to a major shoe deal while former Kentucky point guard De’Aaron Fox, who outplayed Lonzo twice in head-to-head matchups last season, just signed a multi-year deal with Nike, according to The Vertical’s Nick DePaula.

Silver said he admires Ball’s marketing abilities, but expects him to tone it down once Lonzo gets drafted in June.

“All I know is if I were an NBA team looking at Lonzo Ball, I’m not sure how much consideration I would give to his father. I think ultimately the issue is how much game does Lonzo have, how great of an NBA player can he be.

“I think his dad will invariably settle down once his son is drafted and a team has the appropriate discussions with him. So I’m not concerned about that.”

Please, God, let’s hope so.

[Fox Sports 1 | ESPN]

About Jesse Kramer

Jesse is a writer and editor for The Comeback. He has also worked for and runs The Catch and Shoot, a college basketball website based in Chicago. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Follow Jesse on Twitter @Jesse_Kramer.