On February 1, David Stern’s 30-year run as NBA Commissioner ended with Adam Silver taking over the reins of the league. Here is my letter to Silver on how I believe he can make the league better.
Dear Commissioner Silver,
I hope this letter finds you well as your first week as NBA Commissioner comes to a close. The league is in great shape, but like most things could be better. Below are some ideas I have on how this can be done.
Eliminate four games in five nights from team schedules
I know you can’t get rid of back-to-backs, but it is really necessary to have team’s play two back-to-backs with just a day in between? It hurts your product. It puts players at risk for injury, especially the stars that have to carry a heavy minutes load. Why not ease the strain? While we’re at it, if team’s are going to play 20 back-back’s every season, why not let some of them be home back-to-backs’s? I’m guessing that playing two games in two nights would be a little easier if there weren’t a flight to another city in-between.
Go back to five-game first round series
The first round of the playoffs is the worst round, and it drags. Did we really need to see game four between the Heat and Bucks last season after Miami won the first three by double-digits? I know that it’s money thing, but Miami and San Antonio swept their first round series last season and then waited for over week before playing again. You lose some buzz when that happens. By going back to five game first round series, you give those early series games a little more urgency and you get the round done quicker.
Don’t play music or sound effects during every possession
Every team should play one home game without music or sound effects during the action and ask the fans if they enjoyed the experience. College teams do it. Oh ya, and can we chill with the yelling from PA announcers?
Keep the Draft Lottery
In December, Zach Lowe wrote that there have been talks about replacing the lottery with a draft wheel. Don’t do it. As Lowe points out in his piece, it will be about a decade before you can put the plan in motion, and then you are locked in for 30 years, which is a really long time. Just keep the lottery with some tweaks. It is a great television event, but it could be made better. Instead of drawing for the first 3 picks of the draft, do it for the entire first round. Weigh it by record, but give every team in the league a chance to get a top pick. Now instead of just half the league’s markets caring and watching, almost all will. This will do nothing to stop teams from tanking, but I’m not sure anything will. Just remember, having a lottery is a better system than just giving assigning picks by records from worst to first like they do in some other leagues.
Be transparent about how officials are graded
The officials won’t like this, but I think it could turn out to be beneficial for everyone. For example: Everyone thinks Joey Crawford is terrible at his job, yet, every June there he is, front and center, reffing NBA Finals games. He does so for a reason, and by allowing fans to see how officials are graded you’d educate them about which ones are best and why that’s the case. Officials won’t want their grades made public because nobody wants people to know their mistakes, but doing this would be beneficial to them by recognizing the good ones and hopefully forcing the rest to do a better job.
These are simply suggestions on how you can make a thriving league better in the years to come. I look forward to seeing what direction you take the league in the coming years, and wish you the best.
Adam SpolaneFollow @AdamSpolane
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