DENVER — NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said he has made a decision regarding upcoming league office disciplinary action against Memphis Grizzlies superstar guard Ja Morant, but will wait until a champion is crowned in the Finals to announce the penalty .
The Grizzlies suspended Morant pending league review on May 14 after video circulated on social media showing the All-Star brandishing a firearm. The NBA suspended Morant for eight games following a similar incident in March, after Morant traveled to New York to meet with Silver and other league officials to discuss the issue.
During his annual press conference before the opening game of the NBA Finals, Silver said that “history of previous actions” and “the history of the individual player” are considered when assessing which discipline is appropriate. this time.
“We’ve uncovered a lot of additional information, I think, since I was first asked about the situation,” Silver said Thursday. “I’d say we probably could have taken it to the extreme now, but we made the decision and I think the players’ association agrees with us that it would be unfair to these players and these teams for this to be known in the middle of the series to give.” the results of this investigation.
“Given that we’re obviously in the off-season, he’s now been suspended indefinitely by the Memphis Grizzlies so nothing would have changed for the next few weeks anyway. It seemed better to ignore that for now, at least any public announcement, and I now have a feeling that shortly after the conclusion of the finals we will announce the outcome of that investigation.”
When asked in hindsight if Morant’s eight-game ban was too light, Silver replied that Morant appeared “warm and serious” when they met in March.
“In retrospect, I don’t think I know,” he said. “If it had been a 12-game ban instead of an 8-game ban, would that have mattered? I know it seemed to be based on precedent and he’s represented and we want to be fair about the league, it seemed appropriate.” That’s all I can say about it. By definition you could say maybe not because we’ve all seen the video and it seems like he did it again.
“But I don’t think we know yet what it takes to change his behavior. Same thing as I said then: He seems like a fine young man. In terms of my dealings with him, I think he’s clearly achieved some mistakes, but he’s young and I hope now – if at the end of our process we come to the conclusion what the appropriate discipline is, that it isn’t It’s not just about the discipline, it’s about what we, the Players’ Association, his team and… are doing. He and the people around him will do everything to create better circumstances in the future.
Some other key issues Silver addressed on Thursday:
Examined referee not in the final
Veteran referee Eric Lewis was not among the 12 officials in charge of the finals due to the league office investigating his social media activities.
The league is investigating whether Lewis used a “burner” account on Twitter to shield himself and other officials from criticism, in violation of league policy.
“We decided that [because the] “The investigation was ongoing and it remains that it would not be appropriate for him to work at these finals,” Silver said. “I don’t know what the final conclusion will be. We’ll see where the facts take us.”
Local TV riddle
Several NBA teams, including Western Conference winners Denver Nuggets, have had major problems with local television viewers due to disputes between local sports networks and cable companies and other providers.
Silver called this issue “a terrible problem” with no easy fix and indicated that it could be addressed as part of the NBA’s negotiations with its national broadcast partners over the remaining two years of this contract.
“It doesn’t make sense and it’s up to us to fix it,” Silver said.
Minimum price for Postseason Awards games?
Commenting on the 65 game minimum for players to be eligible for future postseason awards, Silver said, “We’re incentivizing players to play more games in the regular season. The 65 isn’t magic, but we are.” We try, of course, to take account of games that will be missed through injury and perhaps even the occasional need for a player to take a break.
“But we also negotiated that with the players’ association. Everyone has an interest in the league doing its best in a hard-fought regular season.”