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Adam Silver, “The Ultimate Fan”, takes on new role as NBA Commissioner
by Adam Fluck
Posted on Feb 9
Long before Adam Silver was appointed NBA Commissioner, which happened just eight days ago, he was like the rest of us – a fan of the game.
“I’ve always been such a huge basketball fan. And I kind of stumbled into the NBA,” admits Silver, who started out working as a lawyer in New York, which led to an opportunity to work for the league.
“And here I am,” said Silver, who called it the “thrill of a lifetime” to be commissioner. “I’m the ultimate fan.”
Silver grew up in New York a Knicks fan, and in the mid-1980s when he attended the University of Chicago Law School, he would occasionally take a break from his studies to watch the Bulls and their young star, Michael Jordan, at the Chicago Stadium.
“Back then, it was easy to get a ticket for the game,” Silver said.
Things have changed since then, both for the Bulls and Silver, who spoke with Bulls radio play-by-play announcer Chuck Swirsky on Thursday when the Bulls visited the Golden State Warriors in Oakland. The interview, which can be heard in its entirety at the bottom of this story, ran on ESPN 1000 prior to Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Silver has been on the road frequently since becoming NBA Commissioner, meeting with league partners and getting acclimated to his new role.
A veteran of 22 seasons with the league, Silver has gotten to know the Bulls organization and ownership quite well over the years.
In his role, Silver is no longer a fan of one particular team, but he does express admiration for the Bulls organization.
“When I travel, there are so many Bulls fans everywhere,” Silver told Swirsky. “You have the Bulls fantastic ownership group, Jerry Reinsdorf with his partners and now with Michael [Reinsdorf] stepping up and being, in essence, the governor of the team and someone I deal with on a regular basis. I think they’ve demonstrated the model for how to run a sports team. They run it in a way where they are consistently bringing results to the fans, being smart about how to operate in a cap system, and how to strategize over time to have great teams.
“They’re a pleasure to work with. I don’t want to say one team is more meaningful than another team in this league because part of my mandate is to ensure we have a competitive league where fans in every market can believe in their team and root for championships,” said Silver. “But there is no better run team than the Chicago Bulls.”
Audio—NBA Commissioner Adam Silver talks about his first few days on the job and shares his thoughts on the Bulls organization: