NBA Commissioner Adam Silver answers questions at a news conference after a deal was announced between the league and TV networks, Monday, Oct. 6, 2014 in New York. The NBA has extended its television deals with ESPN and TNT for nine years. The league announced Monday that the new contracts will run through the 2024-25 season. The previous eight-year agreements end after the 2015-16 season. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver gestures as he answers reporters’ questions during a news conference before the NBA draft lottery in New York, Tuesday, May 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY

(USA Today)—In a short time, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has established himself as the players’ commissioner, the owners’ commissioner, the people’s commissioner and, perhaps best defining his early tenure, the ideas commissioner.

He forced the ouster of a problematic owner, saw a record increase in franchise valuations, scored a multibillion TV deal, helped player salaries increase and embraced their voice on social issues — all in his first year.

And he is willing to explore ideas, big and small, that will make the NBA a better game. The league experimented with a 44-minute preseason game, he approved an extended All-Star break, he’s looking at ways to improve the draft lottery and he is exploring the possibility of adopting a new playoff system that takes the best teams regardless of conference (which, Silver says, won’t happen until the 2016-17 season at the earliest).



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