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article imageNBA comissioner plans to expand league globally

By Natty Walker     Feb 21, 2014 in Sports
Though his career as NBA commissioner is just getting started, Adam Silver is already making waves with his global expansion plans.
Silver intends to expand the NBA to foreign countries, such as China. However, some NBA fans are not happy with his priorities. Several landmark American cities, including Seattle, are not slated to get their own NBA team anytime soon. Silver is putting into motion the promises of global expansion made by his predecessor, David Stern.
Taking over for Stern on February 1st, Silver is already under scrutiny by NBA fans and players alike. Before he worked for the NBA, Silver was an attorney in New York City. Feeling unfulfilled by his current job, Silver wrote a letter seeking advice from a former colleague of his father's. That colleague happened to be NBA commissioner David Stern. Though only seeking career guidance, Stern influenced Silver to make a total career change. With Stern's current assistant soon to go on maternity leave, he wanted Silver to be his new personal assistant. Silver took the job, and at 51-years-old succeeds Stern as commissioner. The assistant that Stern replaced with Silver, Val Ackerman, is now the WNBA's president.
Stern will be a tough act to follow, though. As commissioner for 30 years, he grew and expanded the NBA beyond expectations. Stern grew annual revenues form $156 million to $5.6 billion. Not all NBA affiliates are worried Silver won't be able to fill those shoes. Owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban, said, "Adam knows the best of what David did as commissioner, and he also has the ability to add his own strengths." He continued, "I think he will do an amazing job." Cuban and the other NBA team owners unanimously approved Silver's promotion in 2012.
Not only do owners have confidence in his abilities, Silver himself also has confidence that he will be able to grow the NBA to an even bigger and better league. He stated, "The league that David Stern inherited had our Finals on tape delay, so I'm inheriting a league where games and Finals are televised in 215 countries, 50 languages. But beyond that, I'm inheriting a social media community of over a half a billion followers on a global basis."
About his global expansion plans, Silver confirmed to USA Today, "(...) The U.S. is less than 5% of the world's population. So when I look at markets like the billion people in Africa, the over billion people that live in India, the (1.3 billion) that live in China, just those markets alone where we're just barely scratching the surface, there is so much opportunity out there for us."
Though global expansion is the top priority, Silver has also expressed interest in expanding the league in the United States. He said, "I'm also very focused on growing the game in the U.S." He added, "I look at the enormous gap between NFL ratings and NBA ratings and see enormous room for growth."
Other changes Silver plans to implement include raising the minimum age requirement to 20-years-old and making necessary changes to the draft lottery.
More about NBA, adam silver, Expansion, David stern
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