A lot of reports will be released following Thursday's 2014 NBA draft, evaluating all the front offices that made landmark decisions for their respective franchises. But no one will get a higher mark than league commissioner Adam Silver for his classy gesture toward former Baylor center Isaiah Austin.
Austin was expected to be chosen in the 2014 draft until a basketball career-ending Marfan syndrome diagnosis, but he still attended the festivities at Barclays Center. In a touching turn of events, Silver announced that the NBA would select Austin, giving the big man the opportunity to stride to the podium.
Baylor Basketball was proud to see their former player be honored by the Association:
Turner Sports' Ernie Johnson and CBS Sports' Seth Davis were moved by the special gesture:
Everything was rightly halted for Austin's announcement, as Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com noted:
ESPN's Josina Anderson documented a great quote from Austin:
NBA All-Stars Kevin Durant and Kevin Love were pleased to see the NBA take the time to address Austin, along with rap star Common:
Austin was excited to meet Silver earlier in the day:
It is a shame that a bright, kind personality such as Austin—who also overcame blindness in his right eye to play at the highest level of college basketball—won't get to take his talents to the NBA action. But based on his continued optimism and past perseverance, Austin will likely see the silver lining of this situation and find another way to pursue what he wants to do.
It's hard to imagine Silver getting off to a much better start in succeeding the popular David Stern. Draft night was an opportunity to highlight an inspiring situation with Austin, and Silver made sure to address it with grace.
Those on social media responded with universal acclaim, which shows just how wonderful Austin's moment in the NBA draft limelight was.
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