NBA Commissioner Adam Silver just may find himself on some write-in ballots come November.
Silver isn’t running for U.S. President yet, but he’s certainly leaving the NBA’s bubble in Florida with momentum. In the strangest season in league history, Silver’s guidance and leadership allowed the 2019-20 basketball season to end as intended, if a few months later than planned.
Now, Silver is taking care of the NBA’s employees after a job well done.
Adam Silver presided over the strangest season in NBA history
At this time last year, Adam Silver was still working through the political ramifications of a battle with China.
From Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s controversial Hong Kong tweet to a global pandemic, Silver had no easy days this year.
Those weren’t the only issues. The sports world stopped and grieved when former Lakers star Kobe Bryant, along with his teenage daughter, died in a January helicopter crash.
There was also the league’s emotional responses to police brutality and societal issues. Those problems came as teams in the bubble endured a severe mental toll.
Still, the NBA fought on and kept moving forward. On Sunday, October 11, the NBA crowned LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers as champions for the first time since 2010.
Silver has plenty to be proud of
When Adam Silver left the bubble after Game 6 of the NBA Finals, he had plenty to think positively about on his trip home.
This was far from a flawless year, and the NBA could have significant issues going forward. It is not known yet how the coronavirus pandemic, coupled with last year’s Hong Kong controversy, will affect the league’s bottom line and salary cap.
For a time, those problems can lay dormant; the same goes for the questions about when the 2020-21 season will begin. Unlike the 2011-12 season, which began on Christmas because of a lockout, the next regular-season may not officially start until January 2021.
That the league even returned to play after a nearly four-month hiatus is a win. That the NBA finished the 2020-21 season is something that, barring a horrific scandal, will define Adam Silver’s legacy for the rest of his life.
Adam Silver just sent employees a $1,000 message
For the second time since March, the NBA is in full-no games mode. But unlike the shutdown, this period without games was expected.
Adam Silver had good news for NBA employees, though. According to The Athletic, Silver informed league employees through email that “that they are all receiving a $1,000 bonus and four Fridays off beginning October 30 as well as Thanksgiving week.”
The message is a strong one from Silver. Although $1,000 doesn’t appear to be much — the stimulus checks that went out earlier this year from the government were roughly $1,200 — it is the gesture that matters more than the financial total.
Silver knows that without those employees, the league would never have restarted. The people who fans don’t know were just as instrumental to the comeback, if not more so, than LeBron James and superstar players.