OAKLAND (AP) — NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Thursday there has been “absolutely no suggestion” of any wrongdoing with basketball’s international governing body like the scandal that has rocked soccer.
Speaking before Game 1 of the NBA Finals, Silver expressed his confidence in FIBA, noting that the NBA has a seat on its board.
“Their financials are audited. They have open board meetings,” Silver said. “And, again, there’s never been a discussion in our sport of any of the sort of taint that we’re seeing right now in FIFA.”
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has announced he will resign as a result of soccer’s corruption crisis, saying he didn’t feel the support of the world soccer community.
Silver sees that as a difference.
“I know the head of our federation, Patrick Baumann, very well,” he said. “He’s been someone I’ve been working with for over 20 years. And in fact, Mark Tatum, the Deputy Commissioner of the NBA, is on the executive board of FIBA.
“Again, they are a very transparent organization.”
The NBA and FIBA work on some projects jointly, such as a recent trip to Cuba to conduct clinics and the Basketball without Borders camps for young players. And Silver said the league would always take a look to ensure business is being handled properly.
“I’m sure that because of the investigation that’s now going on with FIFA that the other federations, not just FIBA, will all take a fresh look at how they do business, to ensure that everything is done in the best possible way with the highest standards. But we’re very confident in the way that FIBA is operating,” Silver said.
He also said the league could move quickly to change the seeding process that gives a top-four spot to a team that wins its division. This season, that meant the Portland Trail Blazers were seeded higher than both Memphis and San Antonio, who had better records, in the Western Conference playoffs.
“I think we are going to take a very close look at whether we should seed at least 1 through 8 by conference as opposed to giving the division winner that higher seed,” Silver said. “So that is something we are taking a close look at, and we may change that fairly quickly.”
However, he again indicated that any reform to the draft lottery process, or the rules regarding the “Hack-a-Shaq” intentional fouling would likely be put off for at least another year.
Other details from Silver’s news conference:
— On the process of funding the construction of a new arena necessary to keep the Bucks in Milwaukee: “I think at the end of that day, that team’s going to be in Milwaukee for a long time. And in relatively short time that negotiation will be completed and they’ll be announcing the team is staying with a new arena.”
— On how the NBA handles concussions, after the Warriors’ Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson both sustained head injuries in the last round: “Our protocols were followed exactly as mandated in the case of both players. I’ve had discussions with the players union as to whether there are other ways to do it, and my response has been we’re all ears. Right now we talked to the other leagues. We’ve talked to medical advisors everywhere about the best way to approach this. As I said, we think the best way we’re approaching it now is best in class in terms of medical and science information that’s available to us.”
— On injuries: “It’s not necessarily worse than it’s been historically. But it’s to the point, especially when you see star players going down and missing serious numbers of games, it’s something we’re very focused on.”