Everyone answers to someone.
In the case of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, that is the owners of the 30 NBA teams. Silver has a lot of power, he can influence and persuade owners, but at the end of the day he works for them and at their pleasure.
Right now, they’re happy — Silver’s contract was just extended through the 2023-24 season, it was announced out of the NBA Board of Governor’s meeting this week.
Silver has worked for the league since 1992, at first as legal counsel and eventually working his way up to deputy commissioner under David Stern. Silver became commissioner when Stern stepped down in February of 2014.
Silver has gotten mostly positive reviews. Since he got the big chair, the NBA has agreed to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement with the players’ union in a process that was less acrimonious than in previous efforts (and avoided a lockout). Under Silver, the NBA also negotiated a massive new television deal that has boosted revenues for players and teams. He has the league both growing globally and being seen as active and progressive on social issues in the United States.
The owners know when they a good thing and locked Silver up with a new deal.