Adam Silver will replace David Stern as NBA commissioner in February, and when he said recently that the Bradley Center in Milwaukee was “unfit for the NBA,” many saw it as a veiled threat that the Bucks would be opened for discussions of relocation if plans for a state-of-the-art facility weren’t in the works in the very near future.
Silver didn’t discuss the arena in a recent interview with Jim Paschke of Bucks.com, which can be viewed here in its entirety. But he did give a vote of confidence of sorts to the NBA’s desire to keep its partnership with Milwaukee alive for the foreseeable future.
From Don Walker of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
“It’s critical to us that the team remains here and remains successful here,” Silver said.
Silver said he was pleased the Bucks’ front office was focused on the future. Asked if small-market Milwaukee can be a successful franchise, Silver pointed to other successful and smaller NBA cities: San Antonio, Memphis and Oklahoma City. Franchises can be successful when they are well managed and have the right culture, Silver said.
Silver did not go into detail about the league’s desire to get a new arena in Milwaukee, but said such buildings must create an environment that attracts people. He likened arenas to town halls and referred to them as the “center of the community.”
With the NBA wanting to keep its franchise in Milwaukee, an arena deal will in all likelihood get done there in the next few years. If the city were to put up some kind of fight, however, then Silver would have no choice but to backtrack on these comments, and open up to the possibility of moving the franchise to a more lucrative market.
But as we saw over the past couple of years in Sacramento, that’s an extremely complicated process, and it’s probably one that the league wants to avoid if at all possible.
With so much focus in recent weeks being on NBA players speaking out on social issues, it’s worth remembering that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been one of the most vocal athletes in America on these things for decades. The Hall of Fame and all-time leading scorer in NBA history addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, urging voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, and opened his remarks by introducing himself as Michael Jordan, because “Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
You can watch the video of his speech below:
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.