Report: Mark Tatum to become NBA Deputy Commissioner, filling Adam Silver’s spot

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At a press conference in London recently before the Nets/Hawks game there, incoming NBA Commissioner (as of this weekend) Adam Silver said that he wanted to continue the tradition of having an NBA Deputy Commissioner, the role he has filled for years next to the retiring David Stern.

Silver brushed aside the idea of who that might be, but you know he’s too detail oriented a person not to have already had a plan in place.

That new Deputy Commissioner is going to be Mark Tatum, reports Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports, who also gives us a little background about the man.

Tatum, who is African-American, will become one of the highest-ranking minority executives in major professional sports….

Several league officials describe Tatum as bright, capable and engaging, an executive who has spent most of the past 15 years as a revenue creator for the NBA. Tatum has overseen the league’s marketing partnerships with major corporate brands, and managed sales relationships with the league’s TV and media partners.

As one league executive told Yahoo Sports, “Mark is extremely bright and talented, a guy who has the ability to be well-respected and well-liked.”

Technically Tatum has to be approved by the owners for the post, but that is more formality that anything. Silver will get his guy.

I will make only on prediction about Tatum’s tenure as Deputy Commissioner: Come June he will be cheered wildly as he comes out to announce the second round of the NBA Draft. The only real question I have is how long before Silver gets booed at that event — does he get a year honeymoon or does it start this June?