Updates from Thursday, Jan. 30
Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report has the latest on Mark Tatum:
With Adam Silver set to take the reins from David Stern as NBA commissioner on Feb. 1, Mark Tatum has emerged as the likely choice to man the soon-to-be-vacant deputy commissioner position, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
While Tatum is far from a household name, he has a great deal of experience as an NBA executive. Per his NBA.com profile, Tatum is the NBA's executive vice president of global marketing partnerships. The 45-year-old graduate of Cornell and Harvard Business School has been with the NBA since 1999, and he previously worked for Major League Baseball in corporate marketing and sponsorship.
Tatum, who is African American, is potentially in line to become one of the most powerful minority executives in sports, according to Wojnarowski.
An anonymous NBA executive who has worked closely with Tatum admitted that he is a relative unknown, but believes he has the tools to succeed once he gets acclimated, per Wojnarowski.
"He's a good and smart guy. He'll need to grow into the position. I'd imagine most front-office people aren't familiar with him," the executive said.
Most NBA fans know about Silver only because of his presence at the NBA draft. Stern would usually be met with jeers while announcing the picks in the first round, while Silver would be cheered wildly upon taking over in the second round.
According to Al Iannazzone of New York Newsday, Silver has been far more involved than that over the years, and Stern is confident that he is ready to be the commissioner in title.
"He's been the commissioner for the last 10 years," Stern said. "They just haven't given him the check. Everything we've done for the last 22 years we've done together, so it's a piece of cake."
With that in mind, it doesn't seem as though much will change once the transition from Stern to Silver takes place. Silver's name and face haven't been attached to any of the decisions that Stern has made, so he'll have that new car smell when he takes office.
In reality, though, Stern's comments suggest that Silver was heavily involved with everything. Ultimately, Silver figures to approach most situations like Stern did, although his sunnier disposition might mean that he'll make less enemies than his predecessor.
If the relationship between Silver and Tatum is anything like the one between Silver and Stern, then it seems likely that Tatum will get plenty of on-the-job training from jump street.
Silver wasn't exactly well-known when he first became deputy commissioner, so Tatum anonymity shouldn't be an issue.
His resume speaks for itself, and there is reason to believe that he is fully equipped to become the NBA's new No. 2 man in charge.
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