Commissioner Adam Silver made one thing clear in his annual state-of-the-NBA address at All-Star weekend on Saturday: the world is round.
Other than that moment of levity, inspired by Kyrie Irving’s recent comment about the world being flat, clarity was hard to come by when it comes to the league’s weightier topics. The hoops were a sidestory during his 20-minute session, as the NBA’s view on the country’s politics was front and center.
CHARLOTTE IN 2019?
First and foremost, Silver addressed the root of why this event was in New Orleans, rather than Charlotte: the North Carolina legislation, House Bill 2, that limits anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the state. After announcing in July that this All-Star event would be moved, in essence, the law isn’t consistent with the league’s values, Silver has expressed his desire to return to Charlotte in 2019 if it is changed.
“We’d very much like to get back there,” Silver said. “We had a discussion (Silver and North Carolina governor Roy Cooper) so I understood, certainly, his position, when he was running for office, was anti-HB2, the bill that ultimately led to our leaving. So I really was talking to him more to understand, from his standpoint, how he was hoping to move forward in terms of changing that law. My main purpose of talking to him was to express our desire to return next year.
“In terms of laws in other jurisdictions, it’s something we continue to monitor very closely. You know, I’m not ready to draw bright lines. Clearly, though, the laws of the state, ordinances, and cities are a factor we look at in deciding where to play our All-Star Games.”
While the decision was consistent with the league’s values when it comes to discrimination, it remains to be seen if similar situation might unfold in the future. Specifically, Silver was asked about Texas’ Senate Bill 6, which has been compared to North Carolina’s HB2, and whether it might eventually exclude the Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks or San Antonio Spurs from hosting an All-Star game.
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SOURCE: USA Today, Sam Amick