Adam Silver
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Adam Silver Heard LeBron…And Responded 

Just this evening, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was at the podium in Atlanta answering questions about the 2021 All-Star Weekend. During the zoom conference, Commissioner Silver addressed the critical comments that LeBron James made back in February, as well as the economic impact of this weekend. In particular, LeBron was critical of the NBA’s decision to move forward with the 2021 All-Star Game when he spoke his mind during a press conference.

“I have zero energy and zero excitement about an All-Star game this year. I don’t even understand why we’re having an All-Star game.”

James claimed that the shortened offseason and the NBA’s decision to go against their original statement (to not have an All-Star Game) were both reasons that contributed to why he was so upset with this year’s All-Star Game.

“We were told that we were not having an All-Star game, so we’d have a nice little break,” James said, ”And then they throw an All-Star game on us like this and just breaks that all the way up. So, pretty much kind of a slap in the face. And we’re also still dealing with a pandemic. We’re still dealing with everything that’s been going on.”

Silver Takes The High Road

Sure enough, the level-headed NBA Commissioner took the high road, given the fact that he has always allowed players to voice their opinion. Silver said:

“It would be incredibly hypocritical of me to tell LeBron you should speak out on issues that are important to you, but not ones when you are critical of the league. I respect him and his point of view. But at the same time, I also appreciate his professionalism.”

Well, he isn’t wrong on that one. But it is interesting to me how Adam Silver essentially ignored LeBron’s criticism and acknowledged that he appreciates LeBron’s input, but that he knows James will stay professional about the whole thing. It must be nice for the poster-boy of the NBA to participate in the most unwatchable event during the NBA season, despite him being adamantly against the concept in the first place.

Funny enough, LeBron appeared to be cheerful and lively during the All-Star Game draft in which he and the other team captain Kevin Durant selected their players. But again, that’s just another example of how mature LeBron is when dealing with something as mundane as the All-Star Game every year.

The NBA Loves Their Money

Adam Silver also went on to defend the decision to have an All-Star game, citing economics as another huge factor…and he wasn’t shy about it. He predicted that there will be over 100 million viewers during the 2021 NBA All-Star Weekend events and that the NBA is making huge contributions to HBCU’s  (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) with the profits made.

“I haven’t made a secret that economic interests aren’t a factor,” Silver said, “When I say economic interests are a factor, it has less to do with the economics of one Sunday night on TNT in the United States. It has more to do with the larger brand value of the NBA and the fact that this is our No. 1 fan engagement event of the year.”

This is classic Adam Silver. One of the main reasons the NBA is such a valuable brand today is because he built the league in such a way that they benefit from so many sponsorships and he gives the players a lot more power to build their own brands which ends up driving in more revenue for the NBA. There is no question that Silver has put the NBA in a more favorable position under his control compared to where the league was before he was named Commissioner in 2014.