NBA commissioner Adam Silver doesn’t like trade demands like the one Anthony Davis made to the New Orleans Pelicans earlier this year, but he acknowledges that it’s simply a reality of any sports league.
“That’s nothing new in this league. I won’t name names, but some of the greatest names in the history of this league have demanded trades at various points in their contract,” Silver said. “Having said that, no one likes to see an instance where a player is demanding that he be traded when he still is in the middle of a contractual obligation to a team. ... I recognize that there’s very little I’m going to do to stop that completely.”
Silver fined Davis for making the request public.
The commissioner also commented on the perceived disadvantage of small markets in the NBA landscape.
“If you look at the success of the so-called big markets in the last five years, they’ve been at an all-time low in terms of their success on the floor ... we didn’t have the traditional big market teams even playing in the playoffs," Silver noted.
That’s true: None of the teams (Knicks, Nets, Lakers, Clippers and Bulls) from the nation’s three biggest markets (New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago) made the playoffs last season.
But that doesn’t mean Silver is completely happy with the system as is.
“I believe it’s an area where we can do better,” Silver said. “These, to me, are very fixable issues that ... we can come up with a better way of proceeding.”
Anthony Davis appears before media
Davis faced the international media for the first time since Pelicans GM Dell Demps’ firing, answering a number of questions about his tenure with New Orleans, his trade demand and his future plans.
Davis added the Boston Celtics to his list of teams he says he’d prefer to re-sign with if traded, joining the Lakers, Clippers, Knicks and Bucks. The Celtics couldn’t trade for Davis while Kyrie Irving stayed at this deadline, but could trade for him this offseason. Boston is expected to have perhaps the best trade assets to include in a deal for Davis, if they choose to do so.
But when Davis was asked about his relationship with the city of New Orleans, he had a relatively dismissive answer.
"I always have love for the city of New Orleans, and obviously, when that time comes, I’m going to definitely have a heartwarming message for them. Just put it out there on Instagram, like everybody else does.
Removing conference affiliation from All-Star selections
With the All-Star Game no longer being a battle of West vs. East, there are plenty of people asking around the league: Why are there still just 12 players selected from each conference? The truth of the matter is that many of the snubs left out in the West — such as Utah’s Rudy Gobert — are better than the bottom of the East’s roster.
Portland’s Damian Lillard, no stranger to being left out of the All-Star Game due to the depth of the West, agrees.
“I don’t think many people will be mad at that just because of how hard it is to make it in the Western Conference,” Lillard said. “But you can’t take anything away from the guys who made it out of the East.”