Sacramento, CA – It’s been five days since Adam Silver has taken over as the new NBA Commissioner. Succeeding David Stern – who held the position for thirty years – Silver has wasted no time in handling left over issues. His first stop was attending the Kings game last night when they hosted the Toronto Raptors.
Sacramento was honored to be the first NBA team to host the commissioner and gave their fans something to cheer about after they defeated the Toronto Raptors 109-101. It was their second consecutive victory and the Kings will now head out on a four game road trip before the NBA All-Star weekend kicks off February 14th in New Orleans.
“We won on our home court and we did a good job for the most part,” said Kings head coach Michael Malone. “Hopefully we can build on this during our four-game road trip coming up.”
Kings fans are even more excited because after two years of fighting for a new arena Sacramento finally got an approval from the owners and the NBA to begin construction. Stern made a promise to the city to begin the development of the new arena and Silver has made that his top priority.
Silver addressed the media during halftime along with Kings owner and chairman Vivek Ranadive.
“It’s his first week on the job and he’s here to see us, that’s truly an honor,” said Ranadive.
“You guys know David Stern made this a priority for the league over the last several years so we’ve been very involved,” said Silver. “I’ve been right there with him most of the trips and sat in all of the meetings in New York. Vivek and I have been in regular touch since he bought the franchise.”
The new arena is slated to open in 2016 with an extra year given to complete the job or lose the franchise to another city. Ranadive’s group made the savvy agreement with the league when it bought the team last May due to the ups and downs of getting the deal done. Ranadive’s group wanted to protect themselves after the NBA halted the original plans for the teams relocation by a group of investors from Seattle.
But with the help of former NBA player and current mayor Kevin Johnson, Sacramento got the approval and will break ground this summer.
“No worries from the NBA League office, I’m absolutely confident it’s going to happen,” Silver said.
But with a load of other NBA issues, Silver has his plate full. The increase to expand the league globally while marketing their brand against both the NFL and MLB is already in works. Avoiding all questions on who will be named as replacements for the injured players for next weeks NBA All-Star game, the new commissioner kept it candid about his goals for the year.
“It’s continuing to build the game here in the United States and I’m very focused on the relationship from amateurs to the college game and the college game to the NBA. We should also be rivals to the NFL, it’s the number one participation sport in this country. This is what I’m focused on right now.”
After being involved in the league for twenty-two years, Silver is no stranger to the evolution of the NBA nor the potential it has to mature in the future. His knowledge of the league – both on the business and entertainment side – has allowed him to evolve into the perfect replacement for Stern. Expect nothing less than the best that’s yet to come in the future of the NBA.