Silver to replace Granik, retain other duties

4/19/2006 - NBA

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.