Adam Silver: NBA's Greatest Issue is Integrity of the Game

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pageC4
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This morning I was listening to 710 ESPN, and Mike and Mike interviewed Commissioner Silver. Although the first few minutes are discussing Donald Sterlings latest suit. I found the other topic discussed to be more important. After our embarrassing second round disaster many bitter fans began raising "conspiracy theories." Some of these included the more popular ones of: the refs decided the outcome of the series, and Commissioner Silver fixed the NBA so big market teams like Miami would win it all.

Apparently, these misplaced "conspiracy theories" have come to Commissioner Silver's attention as well.

In this interview Commissioner Silver states that "the biggest issue in the NBA is the integrity of the game." After sitting in on game 3 of the Finals, Commissioner Silver listened to fans complain about the officiating of the game as if it were the only thing determining the outcome. He also mentioned that commonly held notions by fans are that the league must want "miami or a larger market" to win the games. Yet another popular theory is that the NBA must want seven games instead of six in order to keep more ratings and increase revenue.

At one point in the interview Golic addresses this very conspiracy theory. Golic asks Silver "Does the number of games played in a series matter to you? I would imagine you want it to go seven. How do you look at that?" Silver responds with "we are not incentivized in our deal. It doesn't matter whether the teams play 4, 5, or even seven games we get paid the same amount of money. I sit in the stands and when a fans team loses they yell to me 'you must be happy you're getting seven games'"

These accusations have come from our fan base in particular, and I will only examine one example, Christmas Day vs. Golden State. In this game Blake Griffin was ejected and the result was a Golden State win. The following day the league issued a statement that Blake Should have been assessed a common foul and not been ejected. So why does this happen? Why does the league allow it? Silver mentioned that currently refs use a small screen that is not in HD, whereas the NBA uses a large screen in HD to review the calls later on (a reason why many calls are rescinded or changed). Hence, many calls are rescinded. What I found encouraging is that Silver and the NBA are looking at adding a replay center in new york to expedite the replay process and catch flopping, fouls, and other things that may result in questionable outcomes.

Commissioner Silver clarified that his best interests for the league are to grow and succeed. Silver wants a league where every team is competitive, not just the Lakers, Celtics, or Miami. I found Silver's stance very logical, and I'm glad that he addressed these accusations because from my opinion they are unfounded and made out of emotion. I hope that some of our members will listen to Silvers discussion and perhaps have greater acceptance of the process and not jump to conclusions

http://espn.go.com/espnradio/play?id=11065816

cleepers
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Some of the conspiracy theories are admittedly quite far out, but by listening to Silver you're only hearing one side.

For example, the league may not be incentivized by how many games are played in a series, but they ARE incentivized by viewing figures when bargaining with networks every time a national TV deal is renewed. I'll give him that they don't give a rat's arse about Miami as a team, but they DO want LeBron in the finals - whoever he plays for - because he is the most famous face in basketball today, admired and hated more than anybody else, and subsequently will bring in additional viewers to take joy in his successes AND his failures. The same goes for Kevin Durant as top scorer, MVP and LeBron's closest contemporary.

And while the fact that they review and change calls after the fact is admirable, I will not forgive them for backing up the game 5 refs on the Matt Barnes out-of-bounds call. If the refs couldn't tell on their little SD screens, fine, but it was the exact same call that they admitted was a mistake in game 1 against GSW and we got the raw end both times. They should have had the stones to man up and admit the mistake again. The fact that they didn't, to me, smacks of the league not wanting to admit that THEIR officials screwed up a call which defined (and likely decided) the entire series.

The very idea that a multi-billion dollar enterprise is relying on obsolete technology for it's "integrity" is ludicrous anyway. "NBA central" sounds like a good idea on several levels - not least the fact that officials can delay a game by 5 or 10 minutes to determine a call that viewers can make in 20 seconds - but I'll reserve judgement until I see it in action, and can tell whether having faceless individuals in a closed office in New York implementing the league's rules and policies (or politics?) is any better than the current system... or if it seems even more shady.

pageC4
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Other teams have stars though. Our team in particular with just Griffin and Paul has experienced a huge surge in the fan base. I don't know the numbers but I'm quite confident that our fan base could result in a higher purchasing power and ratings than say OKC or San Antonio. In fact, I think if the league wanted a higher ratings bonanza or purchasing of product the finals would have been Clippers vs. Miami.

Paul and Griffin play an especially exciting brand of basketball, so I don't think the NBA would go out of their way to ruin this and try and set up a Durant vs. James rematch.

cleepers
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That's all well and good for die-hard basketball fans, but they're looking to bring in casual fans for the playoffs and get them hooked, and despite their small market, Durant and Westbrook jerseys handily outsell Paul's and Griffin's. All-star voting is another good measure of the casual fan's awareness... Durant #1 in the west, CP3 didn't even get to start.

We may be getting there, but we're not NBA royalty yet.

pageC4
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The Thunder kind of remind me of a younger version of San Antonio. They have a pretty well rounded squad with relatively small egos. I'm not sure how the enitre sales are at the moment, but my wife and I have season tickets and every game we were surrounded by people from New York, New Zealand, and countless other places in the world just to see a lob from Paul to Griffin. Can you believe that? People from all across the globe are in the entertainment capital of the world and they stop to see a Clippers game.

As far as attendance the Clippers ranked ahead of the Thunder and Spurs, yet both continued farther.

http://espn.go.com/nba/attendance

As far as jersey sales yes, you are correct in that the Thunder have higher sales, but those sales didn't help them against the Spurs.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/maurybrown/ ... a-jerseys/

At some point these sales don't help you in any way among refs. Beside we are one of the few teams along with Miami and OKC that have two players among the top ten jersey sales and top 10 in total team merchandise. In other words we should be getting some favoritism from refs based on the profitability and sales argument. Bottom line is I don't believe these observations to be a factor in what calls are made.

cleepers
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Attendance is completely irrelevant... all that money splits between team and arena.

As for jersey sales, they're a very small portion of NBA income... I was just using them as an example of worldwide recognition and appeal of certain players, which would certainly figure into global television viewing numbers for a particular series.

Like I said, we're getting there. We shoot lots of FT's and get lots of "superstar" calls compared to many other teams... but we're not up there among NBA royalty yet.

You also have to realize that we are in Los Angeles... one of the most desirable tourist destinations on the planet. So when you talk about so many foreigners showing up for Clippers games, you have to factor in Hollywood, Disneyland, Baywatch and the countless other factors that make people want to visit here. I'll bet you dollars to donuts that if CP3 and Blake played for OKC and you had season tickets, you'd go the whole season sitting next to people who speak like the little hick kid in the "Kay-Day framily" commercial. Seriously, I've been to places in the heartland that are WAY more cosmopolitan than oak city, and they still look at me like I'm an alien when I speak with my English accent!

The Spurs are an anomaly. The NBA doesn't particularly love them (despite the whole franchise from top to bottom being respected like no other) because they still suffer from the "boring" label. They don't wear flashy shirts with "short-bus" backpacks and stupid glasses at the podium, they don't have a human highlight-reel player, they just quietly go about winning games. If they had been only slightly better than OKC referee bias would have seen to it that they lost that series, but the truth is they are far and away the best team in the league. The refs can only do so much! Honestly, we may have even benefitted from the officiating had we played them, because as you say, Blake and CP3 are very exciting and might have made for a more entertaining finals than Parker and Duncan. We probably still would have lost, though. The Spurs are just that good.

So what we end up with is a vastly superior team versus a vastly superior player in this year's finals. Right now, it's the best we can hope for until the Clippers put something together that can rival LeBron's and San Antonio's dominance of the game. At least it's better than seeing him going 1-on-1 for 336 tedious minutes against a league and media manufactured, paper "rival".

ClipperKyle32
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I love the NBA, but after watching the NHL Playoffs and the Finals. NHL is great. Its so similar to basketball. That Dude JQuick is an animal ( not the one on this site lol )It's In The Number... Blake Griffin 32 and Jonathan Quick 32. NHL is allowed to be physical. I know the NBA was just as good when those bad boys were on the floor. Man! I will always be a basketball boy , but NHL just may become my second sport , once I understand it a lot better.

Any Room On that Kings Bandwagon JQuick? LoL

My face when that puck didn't go in

pageC4
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Well, to many people England is like another planet. We are pretty isolated here. That's where you need to have some fun with it and give some first encounter speech. Maybe say something along the lines of "Greetings I come in peace."

You have to remember America is isolated between the two great oceans to the west and east. It tries its very hardest to keep Latin Americans out and completely ignores Canada, so as a culture we aren't really that used to differences. So yes, we will look at someone who speaks the "queens" english as if they were speaking Clingon

pageC4
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The Kings have played amazing hockey. three series taken to seven games, all won, all on the road. they are the epitome of poise. this is what I had envisioned the clippers pulling off. hopefully one day the clippers can do what the kings are doing now

BaadMaster
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Like many Angelenos, I am watching the Kings. But after all these games, I have to ask... What the hell is "icing?"

JQuick32
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That was ridiculous! The funniest part is that Rangers fans have been whining all series that the Kings have "just been lucky." The Rags got some of the flukiest puck luck I have ever seen last night. Refs let them get away with everything too.

Still though, that loss was deserved by us. You can't keep going down 2-0 and expecting to come back and win, and you can't spend all that time in NY's zone in the third period, put that much pressure on Lundqvist, and fail to come away with a goal or even an accurate shot on goal. If we want to hoist the Cup at Staples on Friday, we need another Game 3-style performance.

There's always room on the Kings' bandwagon, but you're a bit late, there's only a few games left. Smile

JQuick32
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Icing is when you clear the puck and it crosses both the red line and opponent's goal line. It's illegal unless you're shorthanded or the puck goes into the net (at which point it's a goal, obviously).

ClipperRevival
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To me, the greatest issue with the game is how soft it has become. Flopping is a direct result of this. When you give players an incentive to flop, they will do it. The softness of the league has not prevented injuries. Injuries will happen no matter how soft you try to make the game. There is no such thing as a good, hard foul on the ball anymore. It's sickening at times. Physical play is a part of the game.

The league should also institute a central replay booth where they instantly look at every call that's questionable and make the right call. Flopping and fouls should be reviewable. Anything should be reviewable as long as it's done in a timely manner as not to slow down the game. Some of the reviews by these refs take way too long.

ClipperRevival
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I also think teams should be given 3 instant replay calls per half, just like the NFL. And they should be able to review anything. That way, the right calls get made and the right team wins games.

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