Silver wants more balance after Durant move

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 NBA  Commissioner Adam Silver  AFP FILE PHOTO

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver
AFP FILE PHOTO

LOS ANGELES: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) that the league might look at ways of maintaining competitive balance following Kevin Durant’s blockbuster move to join the Golden State Warriors.

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Silver expressed concern at the signing, which creates another super team and indicated that the NBA’s parity might be better served if changes were made to the collective bargaining agreement.

“Just to be absolutely clear, I do not think that’s ideal from the league standpoint,” Silver said of lopsided teams during a news conference at the league’s annual board of governors meeting.

Durant left the Oklahoma City Thunder to sign a two-year deal worth $54 million to join the Warriors, creating another NBA powerhouse. Silver added that Durant did not break any rules by exercising his right to change teams.

“I don’t think having two super teams is good for the league,” he said. “For me, part of it is designing a collective bargaining agreement that encourages the distribution of great players throughout the league.

“On the other hand, I absolutely respect a player’s right to become a free agent and in this case for Kevin Durant to make a decision that he feels is best for him.

“I have no idea what’s in his mind or heart in terms of how he went about making that decision.

“In a way, the good news is that we are in a collective bargaining cycle, so it gives everybody an opportunity — owners and the union — to sit down behind closed doors and take a fresh look at the system and see if there is a better way that we can do it. My belief is we can make it better.”

The league’s current agreement runs through June 30, 2021. Either side can opt out June 30, 2017, if it notifies the other side by December 15. It was negotiated during the lockout five years ago.

Silver also said the league hasn’t made a decision on moving the 2017 NBA all-star game from Charlotte in protest of North Carolina’s controversial restroom privacy protection law.

“We’re not prepared to make a decision today,” Silver said. “But we recognize the calendar is not our friend. February is quickly approaching, especially in terms of big events like the all-star games if we’re going to make alternative plans.”

AFP

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