|5th Commissioner of the NBA|
February 1, 2014
|Deputy Commissioner of the NBA|
July 2006 - February 1, 2014
|Born||April 25, 1962|
Rye, New York, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Maggie (m. 2015)|
|Alma mater||Duke University (BA)|
University of Chicago (JD)
|Occupation||Commissioner of the National Basketball Association (NBA)|
Adam Silver (born April 25, 1962) is an American lawyer and sports executive who is the fifth and current commissioner of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He joined the NBA in 1992, and has served in a variety of executive positions with the league, becoming chief operating officer and deputy commissioner under his predecessor and mentor David Stern in 2006. When Stern retired in 2014, Silver was named the new commissioner.
Under his guidance as commisioner, the league continued to grow economically, growing the league's exposure worldwide, especially in China. He presided over a number of controversies, including racists remarks Los Angeles Clipper owner Donald Sterling in 2014, whom Silver banned for life from the game, and over conflict between the league and the People's Republic of China over comments made by some league representatives in support of the 2019 Hong Kong protests.
After graduating from high school, Silver attended Duke University, graduating in 1984 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science. After college he worked as a legislative aide for U.S. Congressman Les AuCoin from 1984 to 1985. He then studied law at the University of Chicago Law School and graduated in 1988 with a J.D. degree.
After law school, Silver clerked for one year for Judge Kimba Wood of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, and then joined the law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore as an associate.
Prior to becoming commissioner, Silver served as NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer for eight years. In that role, he was involved in the negotiation of the league's last three collective bargaining agreements with the National Basketball Players Association, the development of the WNBA and NBA Development League, the partnership with Turner Broadcasting to manage the NBA's digital assets, and the creation of NBA China.
Before serving as the league's second-in-command, Silver spent more than eight years as President and COO of NBA Entertainment. Since joining the NBA in 1992, Silver has also held the positions of Senior VP & COO, NBA Entertainment, NBA Chief of Staff, and Special Assistant to the Commissioner.
During his time with NBA Entertainment, Silver was an executive producer of the IMAX movie Michael Jordan to the Max, as well as the documentary Whatever Happened to Micheal Ray? He also worked on the production side of Like Mike and Year of the Yao.
On April 25, 2014, TMZ Sports released a video of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling holding a conversation with his girlfriend that included racist remarks. Silver responded on April 29, 2014, announcing that Sterling had been banned from the NBA for life. In addition, Silver fined Sterling $2.5 million, the maximum allowed under the NBA constitution. Silver stripped Sterling from virtually all of his authority over the Clippers, and urged owners to vote to expel Sterling from ownership of the Clippers. Sterling was disallowed from entering any Clippers facility as well as attending any NBA games. It was one of the most severe punishments ever imposed on a professional sports owner.
On November 13, 2014, Silver published an op-ed piece in The New York Times, where he announced that he is in favor of legalized and regulated sports betting, mentioning that it should be "brought out of the underground and into the sunlight where it can be appropriately monitored and regulated".
On October 4, 2019, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey issued a tweet that supported the 2019 Hong Kong protests. Morey later deleted the tweet. On October 6 Morey and the NBA each issued a separate statement addressing the original tweet; Morey said that he never intended his tweet to cause any offense while the NBA said the tweet was "Regrettable". The statements drew attention and subsequent bipartisan criticism from several US politicians. On October 7, Adam Silver defended league's response to the tweet, supporting Morey's right to freedom of expression while also accepting the right of reply from the government of and businesses from China.
In October 2019, Silver was faced with an impending issue in terms of the partnership between China and the NBA. After Rockets GM Daryl Morey tweeted his support for the pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong, China has responded negatively with decisions to possibly cut ties from the NBA. However, Adam Silver responded supporting Daryl Morey stating that he has an expression to exercise his freedom of speech. Furthermore, Silver publicly said:
"It is inevitable that people around the world -- including from America and China -- will have different viewpoints over different issues," "It is not the role of the NBA to adjudicate those differences."
One of China's smartphone makers, Vivo, responded to Silver's statements with actions to cut ties with the NBA. Vivo publically responded stating:
"Vivo has always insisted on the principle that the national interest is above all else and firmly opposes any remark and behavior that constitutes a challenge to the national sovereignty and territorial integrity," "Starting today, Vivo will suspend all cooperation with the NBA."
In 2016, Sports Business Journal ranked Silver No. 1 on its list of the 50 Most Influential People in Sports Business. In 2015, Silver was named Executive of the Year by Sports Business Journal. That year he was also named one of Time's 100 Most Influential People and one of Fortune's 50 Greatest Leaders.
In 2014, he was named the Sports Illustrated Executive of the Year.
Silver serves on Duke University's Board of Trustees and received the 2016 Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Chicago Law School. He also serves on the board of the Lustgarten Pancreatic Cancer Foundation.