NBA to name All-Star Game MVP trophy after Kobe Bryant – Adam Silver | NBA Sound NBA to name All-Star Game MVP trophy after Kobe Bryant – Adam Silver | NBA SoundThank you all for being here. I’M first of all, let me thank the Rhine stores, Jerry and Michael. I think Jerry pledged he wasn’t going to have another All-Star game here and Michael convince them, and at least he tells me now he’s thrilled here. I happen to be here in Chicago the last time the All-Star Game took place here, which was 32 years ago. In 1988, I was a law student at the University of Chicago in my third year and managed to secure it’s for All-Star Saturday and the game itself and had an incredible experience, and I never would have connected the dots back then to think I would then spend A few years later begin working at the NBA 1992 and then spin the next Harmony years.
That is work 28 years working at the week, let alone being commissioner. But I’m sure that it had an impact on me because I remember being thrilled to be part of the activities here. I remember Michael Jordan, taking off from the line Slam Dunk Contest. I remember the game and I had a great experience here in the city of Chicago, so I’m thrilled to be back and a few other thank-yous, first of all, to marry Laurie Lightfoot. She happen to be in Wasco with me at that time at the University of Chicago.
I don’t think she was here. I haven’t asked her that at 4, either All-Star Saturday night or Sunday and I Lori Maher Maher Lightfoot, and I did have this discussion. I think that if somebody had done a poll when we were in law school NSAID out of the students in our class, let’s create a list of who’s, the most likely to be mayor Chicago and commissioner of the NBA. I’M not sure we would have made those Serendipity of life here we are, he did have a lot to do with bringing the All-Star game here. He is a very convincing person.
I know he spent had several conversations with both Ryan source and with me, and he was very insistent that we announce that the all-star was going to come here while he was still mayor. So I thank you to Mayor Emanuel as well before we get going to people like to talk about two giants of the game. We’Ve lost in the last over the last several weeks and I’ll begin with David Stern. When I came to the NBA in 1990. To my first job was, as the Special Assistant to commissioner Stern, add a series of jobs, five different jobs at the NBA before I became commissioner and over those twenty-two years, I I was fortunate to always have the privilege to work directly for David Stern.
I just say he became not only my mentor but incredibly close friend. He was there. When I got married. He was one of the first people to talk to my daughter when she was born. I remained very close to his wife died, Penn and his two children, Andrew and Eric, and it’s a huge loss, certainly for the league. He was a force of nature for those who got to work with him at the time you all. I know it’s it’s worried, but when he came to league first at the general counsel in the late seventies and is the commissioner 1984, it was a time when are finals were still on tape.
Delay and, as I said, I mean he. He had vision for what this league could become and that League involved it being a major factor in the Sports World. He had a belief that this league could be truly Global. He embraced Knology when it came along. He saw how the internet could transform this business. So I have a satellite distribution, could bring us Live 215 to 215 countries or World, which is where we are today, and I take for many of us in this league. It’S it’s it’s. It’S been a difficult time because not only had we all work for him for so long, but we remain close to him over the last several years since I’ve been commissioned.
I know that we had a large memorial for him recently in New York City in which over 4,000 people attended, and just you know, from Magic Johnson to to coach Pat Riley to Val Ackerman. Talking about the creation of the WNBA Rick welts, the prison. The Warriors who spoke about the creation actually this weekend of the events around All-Star Weekend, Cathy berens, my car talk about coming to the NBA to create NBA Cares with David. It was truly transformational figure but gather of the family and, as I said, not only will he be missed, but he’s somebody that will forever remain in our hearts and Minds for a long time and – and we will continue to talk at the about the proper way To honor him over time, I’m there is the credential, the media, who are all here today.
This is the NBA media credentials, natural butt at the bottom. We have on picture of David and Kobe Bryant, so everybody can have them in their hearts, while they’re here and now Kobe Bryant. I was at the league for the entire course of his career, and he and David interesting lie had a lot in common. They were both determined to win. It could be difficult at times because they prioritize winning and they often they didn’t have time for some of the niceties around personal relationships because it was about winning at least while Kobe was a player here.
With someone who set the record for 18 consecutive all stars and for All-Star MVPs and a famous slam, dunk contest top of that, she also was transformed transformational in that when he came to the league, it was essentially right after the Advent of the internet. Shortly after we had launched nba. com, common and sort of in the early stages of creating our own network, and he saw the opportunity, a global citizen in that he came to a significant part of his childhood in Italy. Just speak Italian. He spoke Spanish Luka.
Doncic told me recently that he was being Trash, Talk courtside at Lakers game early to season. You looked over and there was Kobe in Slovenian trash-talking him with his wonderful daughter, Gigi by his side and Kobe on it. It’S he in his post playing career. We got to be particularly close, in fact, when we were in Los Angeles two years ago. There’S this Tech conference we’ve been doing for 20 years now at All-Star games Kobe spoke about his love of Storytelling and a reminder to Boston the business.
How important is to tell those stories to to bring these players to life in to help people understand the game? And then two weeks after that presentation, our technology Summit, he actually won an Academy Award storytelling for his short and short on your basketballs animated shorts. So I hid his lost together with his daughter and those other seven people on the helicopters is unspeakable. Is the father? You know if a child I mean that that’s the unimaginable and no again we are. We are honoring Kobe and his daughter to win the All-Star game.
As you all know, change the jersey numbers – and I was 24 for Kobe and two for his daughter, Gigi I’d, say that’s something that the players embraced. You know that they did this generation of players. So many of them grew up with Kobe as their role model as a player as a competitor and he loved the game, and he stayed close to these guys. It’S it’s been amazing to me, you know what sort of similar to David found a way to connect to so many people be connected to how many of this current generation of fire in by connected, I mean he.
They all have stories where he was breaking down. Film with them he was talking to them about. You know the belief in winning. You know, you know that extra dry I’ve got dinner, Beastie called it. That was necessarily truly be a champion, but it would. I also saw on Kobe – and you saw a little bit of David and his post in the. After he was commissioner, that got that aspect of their personality was a bit contrived in that they push people because they wanted them to be there very best and recognizing That it meant a times people might not like them, but that.
. It was about that this competition is about winning, and so it was for it was fun to get to see a different part of David. I know a lot of my colleagues are here today and we saw that in him that when he was no longer our boss, it was a different relationship and it was much more fun and he was rooting for us and you know again. I just say I certainly would not be standing here today, but for David Stern and the NBA weren’t wouldn’t be where it is today, but for Kobe set alarm you know, may they both rest in peace and and very much appreciate this greater NBA family? Taking the time to honor them and the Outreach that we’ve heard literally from millions of people turn the world on their behalf, there is one additional special honor for Kobe.
We are now announcing people probably wondering what this object is next to me, that we are renaming. Are all star MVP, trophy the Kobe Bryant MVP award? This trophy will be presented at the clock tomorrow. Night’S All-Star game – and I know it’ll be especially meaningful to that player. That wins the first Kobe Bryant MVP and so I’m sure they’ll be other honors as well, and as I mentioned, there are other things that we will be discussing: starboard the NBA board when we meet in April on Donner David.
But this one seemed so appropriate here at all star, because no one invited All Star more than Kobe Bryant. Any questions what’s so remarkable about are all star festivities. Is that for these several days this becomes the epicenter of basketball around the world and certainly what better Market to do Ben Chicago, which has such a great basketball tradition? We have? Our games will be distributed in 215 countries and territories, including China, impartner tencent will be Distributing all the All-Star events.
Unfortunately, many of our partners in China, including many media members, who’ve been covering us for years, were unable to attend in Chicago this week because of travel restrictions around the coronavirus and again so to the people of China. We wish you all the best Inn in dealing with these tragic circumstances and and you to stay strong and hope that you can find on some Solace through sort of sports and the things that we’re doing at the NBA Edition. Our offices in China are working in hand with World Health organization’s on relief efforts around coronavirus.
With that, I’m happy to answer any questions. You have will start on 6, Adam Dan wykee, with the Los Angeles times. Can you take us, through kind of when you first heard about the helicopter crash on Sunday through the decision to not play that game Tuesday, in Los Angeles and the considerations And the emotions watching Concord, tributes and troubles other people around the league we’re having in that Time. , Okay, the best of my recollection, the first I heard that helicopter going down and then it likely included Kobe and Gianna was from Mike Bass the head of NBA Communications, who had just learned from a member of the Laker organization.
This was not long after it happened, certainly wasn’t public yet and frankly, I mean might be sitting here in the front row. He had trouble getting the words out on the phone. You know he was choked up and telling me, and at that moment you know we have a process for dealing with situations like this at the league office that involves group of, as you might imagine, people are saying Senior Management together with our security group, trying to Assess situations to try to get the best information, so we in essence through the head of our security name, Jerome Pickett this process, you know where all came together for conference call I’m working with the Lakers to get the best information we could in the immediate issue Was whether games we’re going to be played that night on Sunday night, through Operation Center in Secaucus, New Jersey, we have alive look into every one of our Rena’s and we realized that people were already assembling for some of the games that were scheduled.
People are already in arenas and they’re still had not been confirmation that again that that Kobe and Gigi has lost their lives. So it’s her. It didn’t feel appropriate to us that we should be canceling our event, acknowledging something that was not official yet and we were in touch with the family indirectly, and I think also certainly in that moment they were not prepared to acknowledge something that I had not clearly Happened so we did speak to all of our teams. Mark Tatum, the Deputy Commissioner Byron spruell review Canon others.
Cathy berens swear that we divided up the teams and where then, those teams and telling them that we understood if there were particular players who felt that they just went out up to playing that night, that that’s currently that was beyond okay and that also with all Power to the media that they found players did not feel up to a meeting their usual media obligations. We understood that as well, and we also been prepared a tribute and a moment of silence, assuming that the information was true, that we could then work with our teams to make sure that that those casualties were appropriately recognized in Ariana’s before games.
And so that was Sunday night, and at that moment it really wasn’t much thought at all about Tuesday, and certainly I had a schedule in front of me and I and I could see that the Lakers were next scheduled to play at home. You know on Tuesday, I think then you have discussions were ongoing with Jeanie Buss, the principal owner of the Lakers and Rob pelinka and and others at the team, about the State of Mind of the team and what their best way was to four. I think it’s at that moment on Sunday night we were, I would not set.
It say that moment that we knew we were going to end up canceling Tuesday. I think this was a process where we knew we were going to be an ongoing discussion and I’ll say I think people been around the league for a long time, no, that it’s Fair Lakes, the cancel, a game for all kinds of reasons. It’S an N. It’S not necessarily economic reasons is just for competitive reasons. We have a schedule. How will you deal with that game? When will get reschedule? What other impacts will that have? Is it in many cases? It’S not even clear that the players themselves want to cancel the game, and – and I will say one thing I left early Sunday.
I think Chris Paul is the president of the Players Association and was also close friend of Kobe’s, and so Chris was one of the first people to call me in after I talk to Mike Bass and also if he had trouble and getting the words out on The phone but wanted to know what I knew and then we talked to about his sense of whether we should be canceling game Sunday and I think again. We we both agreed that, if anything sent the people wanted to come together and be with each other and then for Tuesday. Ultimately, I would say I I thought the appropriate thing was to be very differential to the Lakers.
It’S so happened that they were scheduled play. The Clippers on that Tuesday night and we did reach out to Steve Palmer and Lawrence Frank and not not necessarily that we were looking for them to approve the canceling of it. But we did want to know their point of view. And I have to say that the Clippers organizations had whatever everyone thinks is appropriate ER. This is so far more important, then that one game or that competition and so the Clippers. In essence, you have our proxy to do whatever you think is appropriate and then ultimate decision was – and I have to say on behalf of the players.
It was not the players necessarily saying they weren’t up to playing on Tuesday, and there were a lot of people who said Kobe would want you to play Kobe with the greatest competitor. I think we’re supposed to send that the first time there was going to Laker game that this was going to be a coming together, intense coming together of Laker fans, Kobe fans, and how is this going to be handled? And so I think there was for the issue of of the game itself, but then what was that experience going to be like in ear, and I think given when we looked at the schedule and saw that then the next home game was Friday night? We aren’t.
We all collectively decided with the Lakers and the Clippers that that that made the most sense on the subject of schedule, in particular the mid-season tournament. That package of changes is Norman’s, where, where does it fall in there, and could you outline just why it was none of the above in terms of dead or dormant? Where I see those discussions is In-N-Out shifted slightly from calling the mid-season tournament the in-season tournament, because it’s not sure exactly where it will fall in. I was actually Howard when we went to our teams, The Players Association and our Media Partners, probably the most important constituents and changes and making changes.
The response we got was that that, frankly, there was so much inches. They didn’t think it made sense to do it as a one-off, and I had may have been a little naive and thinking that, for the 75th Anniversary we can say, let’s make all these changes will try to see what happens in the 75th Anniversary we’ll go from There intensive virtually all the groups I spoke to is that these are significant changes. We should fully vet them and deliberate them, but then we come time when it comes time to make them we should make them.
I mean part because we’re not going to know enough from one season all the discussion about whether what will happen in season tournament. For example, I mean you could get lucky. You know by particular circumstances or unlucky because of the particular match-up sand, and I would be stepping back everything that I’m the one thing I believe we can create new traditions and I think it’s fairly clear it it’s it’s hard to use a data set of one Season to say, we believe in a new tradition or not so what we’re now doing is having further conversations with the players Players Association.
Are our teams in Media Partners in sing? What are the appropriate changes we should be making? I strongly believe we will end up with some sort of in season tournament and a play in tournament. Let’S refocus on all the component parts and do something with the intention that those will be changed will make going for it. It doesn’t mean forever, but it may mean that we could end up changing course at some point. If we don’t it’s working the way, we believe it will, but that seemed to be the consensus and so to me it’s less about a vote, because the very people are voting.
Are the people were working with precisely what format is we should be looking at em and I’ll? Just add to that. I think it also gives us a chance to look more holistically at the season on this issue has come up a lot related to load management. Appropriate resting of players is 80 games. The right number of the right number of games in a season as I’ve said before that’s been in place for over 50 years now the game has changed. We know more about health and and and physical fitness, or even, if we’re playing the same number games today, should they be played over more days to provide for more rest, so that those are all things that we’re looking at the end result, and I can’t say Exactly when it will be, I think, is a represented Peter season in the leak thanks for watching ESPN on YouTube for highlights and Analysis check out the ESPN app and for live streaming and premium content check out.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver speaks with the media before All-Star Saturday Night where he discusses how the league is honoring Kobe Bryant and David Stern. He also discusses how the All-Star Game MVP trophy will be named after Kobe Bryant. He then goes onto discuss the possibility of scheduling changes going forward.
✔ Subscribe to ESPN+ https://plus.espn.com/
✔ Get the ESPN App: http://www.espn.com/espn/apps/espn
✔ Subscribe to ESPN on YouTube: http://es.pn/SUBSCRIBEtoYOUTUBE
✔ Subscribe to ESPN FC on YouTube: http://bit.ly/SUBSCRIBEtoESPNFC
✔ Subscribe to NBA on ESPN on YouTube: http://bit.ly/SUBSCRIBEtoNBAonESPN
✔ Watch ESPN on YouTube TV: http://es.pn/YouTubeTV
Exclusive interviews with Rachel Nichols https://urlzs.com/jNURe
Stephen A. Smith on ESPN https://urlzs.com/W19Tz
ESPN on Social Media:
► Follow on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/espn
► Like on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/espn
► Follow on Instagram: www.instagram.com/f/espn
Visit ESPN on YouTube to get up-to-the-minute sports news coverage, scores, highlights and commentary for NFL, NHL, MLB, NBA, College Football, NCAA Basketball, soccer and more.
More on ESPN.com: https://www.espn.com