Silver to replace Granik, retain other duties
NEW YORK -- NBA Entertainment president Adam Silver was appointed Wednesday to the role of deputy commissioner, replacing Russ Granik as the league's No. 2 man behind David Stern.
Silver was elected unanimously during the league's two-day Board of Governors meetings and will take office July 1.
Silver, 43, will retain his responsibilities with NBA Entertainment, which he has run for more than eight years, while adding those of Granik. Granik announced in October he would step down following this season, his 30th with the league and 22nd in his current role.
Stern originally said a successor would be announced by the new year or the All-Star break in February, but said he pushed back the timeline out of respect for Granik, who will remain an adviser to the commissioner.
"I wanted All-Star to be about Russ and not about anybody or anything else, and this seemed to be the better time to make the announcement," Stern said. "We had a celebration at All-Star for Russ, we honored him amongst the owners, he presented the trophy with me for the MVP, and I didn't want to detract from that."
Silver's responsibilities with NBA Entertainment have included the development and growth of NBA.com and NBA TV. He also is a key player in the league's international business ventures, overseeing operations of 12 worldwide offices.
He called the deputy commissioner position "one of the great jobs in sports" and said was pleased he was still getting to work on his current interests, such as new technologies. And he said he's prepared to fill Granik's role during collective bargaining, which often included being the tough negotiating voice.
"I work at the will of the commissioner and will do whatever I am called upon to do," Silver said. "I think Russ' role as the so-called "black hat" has been exaggerated somewhat because I don't think it's in Russ' nature either to be a difficult person. I will play whatever role I am needed to play."
Stern called Silver, "a leader for the future" and also announced two other appointments effective July 1: Joel Litvin as president of league and basketball operations, and Heidi Ueberroth as president of global marketing partnerships and international business operations. Ueberroth is the daughter of USOC chairman and former baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth.
In other news from the announcement:
• Stern said the board was updated on the arena situations in Seattle and Portland, and that it would get a schedule from Sacramento detailing its building situation. He also said the board voted to allow NBA teams to own teams in the developmental league.
• Granik detailed six minor rules changes, ranging from coaches being allowed to call timeouts to teams getting two free throws, instead of one, and retaining possession for a clear-path foul. He also said there will be a discussion with the competition committee in June about the way teams are seeded in the postseason, and indicated there could be a new rule about players wearing tights underneath their shorts before next season.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press