Professional sports commissioners are very well compensated for the global empires they manage. However, the details of their contracts are not always publicly known. This is the case for Adam Silver, who has been the NBA commissioner since 2014. Here’s what we do know about his career and how much money he makes.
The NBA Commissioner
Adam Silver became the fifth NBA commissioner in February 2014, replacing David Stern. Silver was chosen as the next commissioner in October 2012 and officially elected the commissioner after David Stern’s retirement on February 1, 2014. Stern had been the NBA commissioner for 30 years and recently passed away earlier this year.
While also managing labor negotiations, Silver has helped to expand the league financially and globally. A labor deal was reached in 2016 between the league and the National Basketball Players Association.
That collective-bargaining agreement will be in place through the 2023-24 season. Silver also helped to seal a TV deal for the league with ESPN, ABC, and Turner Sports for $24.3 billion over nine years. This started for the 2016-17 season and is shared equally among all the NBA’s teams.
The total value of the 30 NBA teams has risen while Silver has been commissioner, jumping from about $12 billion up to now $60 billion. The value of individual NBA teams has also continued to rise, with the average team worth about $1.9 billion.
According to Forbes, the New York Knicks alone are worth about $4 billion. Teams are also more profitable than in the past, with average earnings double what they were two seasons ago. The NBA’s total revenue was $8 billion during the 2016-17 season, an 8.5% increase. In addition, game attendance has set a record for the fourth year in a row, with 22.1 million fans attending games during the 2017-18 season.
As commissioner, Silver has received a number of accolades and awards, including being ranked number one in 2016 on SportsBusiness Journal’s annual list of the 50 Most Influential People in Sports Business and being named to TIME’s 100 Most Influential People and Fortune’s World’s 50 Greatest Leaders.
Adam Silver’s career
Silver was born in 1962 in Rye, New York. He graduated from Duke University before earning a law degree from the University of Chicago. After working as a law clerk and for a law firm in New York City, he started working for the NBA in 1992.
Adam Silver began with the NBA as the special assistant to the commissioner. He later became NBA Chief of Staff; Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, NBA Entertainment; President and Chief Operating Officer, NBA Entertainment; and NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer before being named as the commissioner.
During his time in the league, Silver has been involved with negotiations for three National Basketball Players Association collective bargaining agreements and the creation of the WNBA, NBA G League, NBA 2K League, Basketball Africa League, and NBA China. He was also a part of the partnership for Turner Broadcasting to handle digital assets for the NBA.
Adam Silver’s current contract
Silver is believed to earn $10 million a year, although the NBA commissioner’s salary isn’t made public. In June 2018, the NBA extended Silver’s contract through the 2023-24 season.
The financial terms of the new agreement were not disclosed. As part of his job, Silver is responsible for the sports and media business surrounding the National Basketball Association, Women’s National Basketball Association, NBA G League, and NBA 2K League.
The role of the NBA commissioner is one that carries great responsibility and one that is likely well compensated. However, not that much is certain about how much the NBA is paying Commissioner Adam Silver.