Commissioner Adam Silver is a driven leader who from the start has aimed to make wide-ranging, positive changes to the game of basketball. He has been able to do so since taking office. Silver banned league nuisance and Clippers owner Donald Sterling "for life" after Sterling's racist remarks went public last April; instituted an official replay center in the NBA's headquarters at Secaucus, New Jersey; and has continued the legend of his predecessor, David Stern, in bringing the NBA global with preseason games in Asia and South America, and a regular season game in London.
The commissioner helped negotiate and sign a record $24 billion TV contract over nine years -- an average of $2.67 billion per year, nearly tripling the annual deal of $930 million. And he sets high goals: Silver is seriously thinking about putting advertisements on player uniforms, and has written an article in the New York Times about the positives of legalizing sports betting.
So it comes as no surprise that the commissioner would laud the Warriors' ambition in purchasing land to build a brand-new, state-of-the-art arena in San Francisco. On All-Star Saturday, Silver gave his "State of the League" address, in which he discussed conference imbalance, saying: "I understand the notion that we should have the absolute best 16 teams" in the playoffs. Silver talked about the draft reform, in which he said he is hoping to "tweak" the system "so that our fans know that our teams do not have an incentive to lose games."
He spoke about the NBA as international, announcing the league will play a preseason game in South Africa -- the first-ever event on the continent -- as well as the expansion of youth basketball, setting goals of having the Junior NBA program serve five million children age 7-14 and instituting a national 3-on-3 competition for young adults. Silver also voiced concerns about the NBA schedule, where he hopes to limit back-to-back games and possibly eliminate all four-games-in-five-night stretches.
And, he discussed the new Warriors arena. Silver's comments about the Warriors arena come on the heels of his trip to Northern California, where he saw Warriors and Kings games and spoke at Stanford University.
Silver said: "When I was in San Francisco, I saw the plans and toured the site," referencing the 12-acre plot of land in Mission Bay the Warriors bought from Salesforce last April. "I think it looks fantastic; it's an incredible undertaking. The plan is to privately finance it, which is an incredible contribution on the part of the owners."
Silver said that the arena was "on track" to be finished in time for the 2018-19 season.