Deputy NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will be taking over for David Stern in February, but don’t expect any drastic or immediate changes to the way the league has been successfully run under Stern for the past 29 years.
That includes allowing advertisers to take over your favorite player’s jersey.
While ads on NBA jerseys are almost certainly coming in the very near future, Silver says that the league has no intention of going the way of the WNBA or the MLS by allowing sponsor names to replace team names entirely on the front of NBA uniforms.
From Dan Orlando of the New York Business Journal (via HoopsHype):
Adam Silver, the deputy commissioner and chief operating officer of the National Basketball Association, insists the NBA is “nowhere near the point where we’d eliminate team names” from jerseys in favor of branded uniforms, but that day could eventually come.
Silver spoke yesterday to the Bloomberg Sports Business Summit at The Paley Center for Media in Manhattan. He conceded that he and current commissioner, David Stern, disagreed on whether or not to place ads on players’ game uniforms. While Stern opposed the move, Silver thinks it could significantly boost the number and type of brands that would be interested in supporting the league.
We’ve been conditioned to accept advertising almost everywhere, and while the space on an NBA player’s jersey is a little more sacred to fans, the reality is that any business will take revenue wherever it can as long as it doesn’t negatively affect its product.
As for jersey sales themselves, fans will buy what their favorite player is wearing. You think soccer fans in the states cared that David Beckham’s L.A. Galaxy jersey had the Herbalife brand name across the front? They didn’t. And neither would NBA fans over time.
But thankfully, Silver sees no rush to introduce the league to this new revenue stream — at least not to these extreme levels.
It’s not good news, but it looked like it could have been much worse.
Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns is out for weeks with a right calf strain, the team announced Tuesday following an MRI exam. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports it is likely 4-6 weeks.
The injury occurred midway through the third quarter Monday when Towns started to run back upcourt and went to the ground without contact, grabbing his knee and calf. It looked scary — Achilles scary — and he had to be helped off the court.
Towns has averaged 21.4 points and 8.5 rebounds a game, and while his numbers are down this season — just 32.8% on 3-pointers — the team has struggled at times without him, particularly lineups with Rudy Gobert and Anthony Edwards together, an -11.8 net rating (in non-garbage time minutes, via Cleaning the Glass).
Kevin Durant carried the Nets to another win Monday night, scoring 45 points on 19-of-24 shooting, plus seven rebounds and five assists.
If you’re having an MVP conversation a quarter of the way into the NBA season, Durant has to be part of it: 30 points per game on 54.8% shooting (and a ridiculous 65.9 true shooting percentage), 6.6 rebounds and 5.5 assists a game, plus playing solid defense and being the anchor of the Nets. After his 45-point outing to get Brooklyn a win over Orlando, Durant was asked about MVP chants and the chase for the award and was clearly not interested.
Durant has MVP numbers, but so do Stephen Curry, Luka Doncic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jayson Tatum and others. If Durant is going to move to the front of the conversation, the first thing that has to happen is Brooklyn has to win a lot more games — 11-11 is not going to cut it when Tatum’s Celtics and Antetokounmpo’s Bucks have the two best records in the NBA. Winning games and finishing on a top-three team in the conference matters to some voters (and traditionally is one measure of an MVP).
With 2.3 seconds left in the game and the Thunder down 2, they needed to steal the inbounds pass from New Orleans to have a real chance. That’s why when Aleksej Pokusevski walked on the court it looked like he was going to guard the inbounder, Herbert Jones.
Instead, Pokusevski turned his back to Jones, putting himself in position to step in front of anyone cutting to the ball to catch the inbounds. Except, Jones made the clever play to seal the game.
Pokusevski fouled Jones, who sank both free throws and sealed the 105-101 Pelicans win.
The Pelicans got 23-8-8 from Zion Williamson and picked up a win without CJ McCollum or Brandon Ingram in the lineup. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander continued his dominant start to the season and scored 31.
It might have been the loudest the crypto.com Arena was all night.
Between the third and fourth quarters, Lakers fan Jamie Murry of Downey won $75,000 draining a half-court shot — and he got to celebrate with Anthony Davis.
Murry’s celebration is the best part — with Anthony Davis coming out to celebrate with him (and seeming a little shocked by the hug).
One other big shot fell at this game, but Lakers’ fans didn’t like it as much — Pacers’ rookie Andrew Nembhard drained a game-winning 3-pointer as time expired.