Adam Silver has said he doesn’t think the move of Kevin Durant to the Golden State Warriors is good for the NBA, as Silver has made “competitive balance” one of his priorities. Dallas owner Mark Cuban thinks KD as a villain on the Warriors is going to be good for business. But Silver said the situation that helped form the Warriors is something the league should look at through the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which the owners/players union are already discussing.
Wanda Durant came to the defense of her son and set Silver straight.
“The one thing I have learned, I was just talking to Kevin Durant’s mom, every situation is different,” Silver told cleveland.com on the red carpet in Los Angeles prior to the ESPYS Wednesday. “This was a team in Golden State where they have three all-stars who were all drafted. A team that’s under the cap. And one free agent, who also happens to be a superstar, makes a decision to go to that team. It’s very different than if multiple players from different teams had come together and said let’s all land on yet a completely different team.
“Every situation is unique, and these players have difficult decisions to make,” Silver said. “Of course they want to win. I’m sure it was very difficult for him to leave the Oklahoma City community. Look at the incredible things he’s done there over the years. So these decisions are always difficult, and these are young men. It’s a lot of responsibility.”
Kevin Durant’s mom is his best publicist and enforcer. Apparently. Of course it helps that she’s right.
Silver went on to say he still wants to see CBA changes. Silver speaks for the majority of owners, who want changes to limit superteams and flatten out the talent pool (which the current CBA has done, five different champs the past six seasons). The problem is what changes get made? The confluence of events — the new television deal spiking the salary cap, Stephen Curry being on a below-market contract because of past ankle issues, and much more — that had to come together for Durant to make this move were a fluke, not something easily predicted and preventable.
Some owners will want a hard cap, but no way the players would go for that and it would lead to a lengthy lockout. Same goes for a “franchise player tag.” The best move might be to remove the max salary restrictions while keeping the cap as is — no way a team could get Curry and Durant at the same time when each would command at least $45 million — but the rank-and-file NBA players wouldn’t want that because the money they make now would suddenly go to the top five percent of players. There are no easy answers or this would already be done.
Maybe Silver should just consult Wanda Durant on this.