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Adam Silver: NBA likely to change playoff seeding rules 07.15.15 at 8:56 am ET
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Adam Silver

Adam Silver

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Tuesday that the league is likely to remove division records from playoff seeding, and the change probably will be finalized before the 2015-16 season.

As currently constituted, the division winners are guaranteed a top-four seed in the first round. The change would mean that the qualifying teams in each conference would simply be seeded one through eight according to their records.

“It wasn’t voted on yet,” Silver said following the NBA Board of Governor’s meetings in Las Vegas, “because we wanted all the owners to have an opportunity to go back and discuss that recommendation with their general managers and their coaches, and we’ll vote on it before the beginning of the season. It’s my expectation that that change will be adopted.”

Last season, the Blazers finished 51-31 and won the Northwest division. They had the sixth-best record in the Western Conference, but were the fourth seed in the conference playoffs.

Meanwhile, following the DeAndre Jordan saga, the free agency moratorium has been a topic of much discussion. Teams could agree to terms with free agents starting July 1, but were not permitted to actually sign contracts until July 8. In Jordan’s case, the moratorium allowed for the center to agree to a deal with the Mavericks, renege on the agreement and return to the Clippers.

According to Silver, the moratorium is likely to remain in the collective bargaining agreement, and Jordan did indeed act within his rights afforded by the agreement.

“I would say from a personal standpoint, it was not a great look,” Silver said. “There was a breakdown in the system to a certain extent. Teams come to rely on those assurances. … I’m not sure it’s [Jordan’s] proudest moment either, but, again, he was exercising a right that he appropriately has under the collective bargaining agreement.

“And what happens when teams can’t sign — especially the star players, and they’re building their rosters around them — it’s a holdup for a lot of other players in the league [to whom teams can’t make commitments],” the commissioner said.

Other topics of conversation at the Board of Governor’s meetings included the addition of a countdown clock to monitor the length of breaks between quarters and during timeouts so that they are consistent. The board also discussed possible manners of improving players’ on-court safety, such as adding a second escape lane in order to minimize player collisions with camera operators on the baselines.

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Stephen A. Smith on D&C: ‘Nothing less will suffice’ than getting rid of Donald Sterling 04.29.14 at 10:02 am ET
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ESPN’€™s Stephen A. Smith joined Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday to discuss the racist remarks that Clippers owner Donald Sterling allegedly made. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

While Sterling’s alleged remarks recently created an uproar, the Clippers owner has made headlines with his discriminatory actions in the past. Still, Smith made the case that this was dramatically different.

“You could have a spouse or a partner, and you could know that they’re cheating on you and the thought of that hurts you, but it’s something to know that, and it’s something entirely different to walk in on them and witness them actually doing it,” Smith said. “And in the case of Donald Sterling with the audio tape, it’s sort of tantamount to that because it’s one thing to hear the stories about him, to sort of suspect it and know it, but at the same time you’re working, you’re playing the game you love, you’re coaching the game. You love doing what you want to do and that’s it. Or if you’re a co-owner everyone’s making money, you live your life, you live this — fine.

“It’s another thing entirely for it to slap you in your face right there, front and center, and say, ‘Here I am. This is who I am. This is who I’ve been. This is who you’ve known all this time and there’s been unequivocal evidence and it’s clear there’s nowhere else to go but where you are. … Everybody has a right to feel the way they want to feel, and you can’t legislate what’s in people’s hearts, but when they throw it in your face flagrantly, it’s the ultimate form of disrespect, and it’s something that can’t be tolerated and that is how it’s viewed what Donald Sterling has done and most of white American and beyond can’t ever be accused of being guilty of being that stupid.”

The NBA will address the situation on Tuesday when Commissioner Adam Silver holds a press conference in New York City at 2 p.m.

“I think there’s one thing he could say — he could say Donald Sterling will no longer be an NBA owner,” Smith said. “Himself and the owners collectively standup in unison and have made the decision that Donald Sterling will be removed as owner of the Los Angeles Clippers … not only can there be a $1 million fine, there can be a $2 million fine, there can be a complication of draft picks from the Clippers organization, but there can also be a lifetime ban, which could ultimately force Donald Sterling to have to sell this team … There are mechanisms in place within the constitutional bylaws of the NBA that would facilitate somebody else taking over the team and taking it away from Donald Sterling. Read the rest of this entry »

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