SAN FRANCISCO — Commissioner Adam Silver said the NBA is considering shifting its selection process for the best NBA each season from its current location-based system to one where voters select the 15 best players, regardless of location. Silver said that is something he plans to discuss with the National Basketball Players Association.
“In terms of the decision to make the All-NBA team, I think quite a lot of consideration is being given to whether [the media] It should just be picking top players and not picking by position,” Silver said in a news conference before Game 1 of the NBA Finals. “I think we’re a league that’s leaning more and more toward positionless basketball, the current system. There may be some unfairness depending on the contingency of your position.
“So that’s something we’re looking at. It’s something we’re going to be discussing with the players’ association because of the impact it has on incentives and player contracts, and it’s also profoundly meaningful for their legacy. So we’re going to look at those thing.”
The topic of whether votes should continue to be determined by position has heated up over the past two years as two centers — Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets and Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers — have joined forces in the league. Voting for the Most Valuable Player Award ended 1-2.
But because of the current system, only one of them has the ability to be an All-NBA first-team player, and the other — in this case, Embiid last season and this season — has to be a second-team option.
Silver also said there would be more discussion about whether contract bonuses would be tied to media awards voting, but added that both parties agreed it was the best of a series of imperfect options.
“In terms of the final selection process, and the view that in some cases there could be a direct financial impact on the player’s contract, now we have agreed with the Players Association to use these designations to trigger certain bonuses in the player’s contract, frankly because we can’t Come up with better ways to feel objective to all involved,” Silver said.
During the roughly 30-minute meeting with reporters, Silver touched on a number of topics:
• Both the NBA and NBPA can withdraw from their current collective bargaining agreements in December before they expire next summer. The last deal was in a similar situation in 2017, with the parties agreeing to a new deal in December 2016 ahead of the exit date.
Silver said he hoped to follow a similar blueprint this time around, but said it was too early to say that was the case, in part because he was still learning about newly appointed NBPA executive director Tamika Tremaglio.
“I think we all know that with any negotiation, especially a seemingly collective negotiation, deadlines really help get people to the best possible offer at the table,” Silver said.
Silver also added that over the past two and a half years, the two sides have had all the discussions about what’s happening with the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to them talking more than ever, which has helped strengthen him. of faith once again reached an amicable agreement.
• Silver said the idea of a mid-season tournament is still in the works but has not been finalized as more discussions with the NBPA are needed. Also, when asked how players deal with physical wear and tear over 82 games, Silver said he might be open to discussing shortening the season — but only if it can be shown to help mitigate the damage.
“As I said before, as the season goes on, we don’t see an increase in injuries. It’s not because of fatigue over the course of a season that you see more injuries,” Silver said. “We did see a link between actual fatigue, for example, back-to-back or three in a row. We think that could lead to more injuries.”
• As he has done in the past, Silver has rejected the idea of expansion in the short term, although he reiterated that this is something the league will do again at some point. One potential problem, he goes on to say, is talent dilution due to expansion.
“Even adding about 30 more roughly equal players, there’s still only so many really top super-talents to go,” Silver said. “That’s what other teams think when we think about expansion.”
• Silver said the NBA has lost “hundreds of millions of dollars” due to tensions with China and said it’s an acceptable cost of doing business in protecting the free speech of the league’s players, coaches and workers.
“We accept that, when we say we support our players and team executives, we support their right to free expression, whether it’s an issue in America or anywhere in the world, and if those are the consequences, this is I mean our values walk with us,” Silver said. “As you know, other people have since expressed their views in China and the rest of the world, and if the consequence is that we get cancelled or we lose money, we accept that.”
Silver also said he still believes engagement with China does not align with the coalition’s values, given the alleged human rights abuses within China.
• When asked how far women are from becoming head coaches, Silver said it’s still a work in progress. He said Becky Harmon’s move to the WNBA as coach of the Las Vegas Aces shouldn’t be seen as a negative.
“But I said before, and I should have said earlier, there’s no reason women shouldn’t be head coaches, and more women shouldn’t be assistant coaches in the NBA,” Silver said. “There’s no reason we shouldn’t have more women officials. We’re making progress in both areas of the league right now. We have more women assistants on the team, but we do have to break through that glass ceiling.”
Silver also said the NBA’s increase in the number of black coaches to 15 following the hiring of Darwin Ham by the Los Angeles Lakers last month is a product of the league’s continued emphasis on the need for diversity.
• Asked if testing positive for COVID-19 next year means players won’t be able to play, Silver said it’s too early to say that advice will come from medical staff, adding that the NBA is just a small player learning how to play with Part of the world in terms of coexistence of viruses.