Adam Silver has his work cut out for him when he replaces David Stern as NBA commissioner in the middle of next season.
Stern has built the NBA into a big-money, international professional sports league with some of the most memorable athletes in the world. Silver, the league deputy commissioner, has been at Stern’s side for years.
Grantland’s Bill Simmons commented on the changing of the guard:
Really happy for Adam Silver - he's one of the smartest people I have met in sports. Truly cares about the league. We're in good hands..— Bill Simmons (@sportsguy33) October 25, 2012
While Stern has done a marvelous job of developing basketball the product, many would say the league has taken a hit recently with some of his policy decisions. Adrian Wojnarowski hammered Stern in his Yahoo! Sports column, citing the commish was a product of fortune more than savvy decision-making.
Surely there will be some changes to the league that Silver wishes to change once he sits in the boss’ chair. Here’s a few suggestions on what he should change.
Live Lottery Drawing
There’s no reason for the NBA lottery to be a private event. Well, there aren’t any good ones. Yet, David Stern has insisted to keep the event behind closed doors and without an audience.
Those pessimists that call the lottery rigged would have their prayers answered, while Silver would avoid a dramatic media storm every year. The NBA-owned Hornets getting the ping pong balls to bounce their way would no longer be a national story, nor the Knicks getting the first pick because they’re the Knicks.
No need to keep the lottery in secrecy, commish. Maybe make it an event to sell tickets. The most diehard NBA fans would come to the arena to pine for their team’s hopes. The fans, media and your stress levels will be better off for it.
Lessen the Flopping Penalties
Silver won't try to dupe his old boss after all he's done for him, so this may be wishful thinking. The current flopping fines, though, will add up to be some hefty paychecks, especially when subjective decision-making is in play.
Check out this flop example in the video (watch Blake Griffin):
Griffin’s actions, while exaggerated, is off-the-ball and does not disrupt the game sequence. Next season, if this kind of play ends up being Griffin’s fourth flop on the year, it will cost him 10,000 dollars. Seems harsh for a meaningless embellishment.
Whether the contact needs to be called by the official is a separate argument altogether.
What about potential suspensions? It will only take six flops to receive to get one, according to the new rules. There will almost surely be a Rasheed Wallace of flopping, someone who gets called for it an excessive amount. That person could ultimately miss multiple games, perhaps even playoff games, with the current rules in place.
The subjectivity in play makes for an issue Silver will need to touch on.
Speed Up the Game
Eliminating a few timeouts would not damage the NBA product, and would speed up the games a bit. It may not make the coaches happy campers, but they eventually will have to get with program.
It would make a more enjoyable experience for people who sit in the bleachers, who are the NBA’s most important customers at the end of the day. By giving teams less chances to stop play with less timeouts, everybody wins.
Getting rid of a TV timeout may be a tough sell losing advertising revenue, but that couldn’t hurt either. Grantland’s Zach Lowe points out multiple ways to speed up the game, including the absurdity of the NBA’s TV timeout at the nine-minute mark of the second quarter.
Viewers need a reason to stay tuned to their television with so many channels and second screens at their disposal. Making NBA games quicker would serve the future commish some good.