C.J. McCollum and Adam Silver on the State of the NBA in 2018 | The Players’ Tribune

C.J. McCollum and Adam Silver on the State of the NBA in 2018 | The Players’ Tribune

– You’re looking incredibly sharp. Make sure the camera gets
all the way down here. That’s something. That’s quite a getup. – I got you, man. Hey, I
can get you a discount. First of all, I appreciate
you taking some time to speak with me again. I think this is the fifth year…. – Right. – Fifth year since I was drafted, and also our fourth consecutive year with you as commissioner,
standing commissioner. – It’s become part of our tradition. – Let’s get right into it. It’s been a bit of a theme this year with DeMar DeRozan
coming out and speaking, Kevin Love coming out and
speaking, on mental health and the importance of understanding how to deal with stress, anxiety. How can players become more comfortable with coming forward with certain issues they may be going through? – Well, I’ll begin by saying hats off to Kevin Love, DeMar DeRozan, for their willingness to speak
openly about these issues. I think you and I know, even when we started these
interviews five years ago, that wasn’t something
players were willing to do. And I think the fact that
two All-Star caliber players are willing to talk about
those kinds of issues, mental-health issues, anxiety, depression, stress, all the things that go
with being an NBA player, but frankly, just go
with being a human being. But when guys won’t talk about it, I think they’re reluctant
to ask for help, as well. So, I think that’s the first step, to just, to openly talk about it. Obviously we have some very
young adults in this league, and they may not even
understand it themselves. They may not realize it’s
a mental-health issue, so we need to train the people
associated with the team to recognize those issues, that when guys are suffering
for whatever reason, that they let them know that there’s help they can get
from the team or privately. And, in fact, I was
talking to Michele Roberts, executive director of
the players’ association, they are also putting in place
a state-of-the-art program, so that if, for some reason, a player isn’t comfortable
talking to his team directly, isn’t comfortable dealing with the league, he can go right to the
players’ association, and they’ll have an independent program, which is kept private. I think the other issue involved in this, is there a notion that somehow it will hurt a players’ career? And I think it’s the exact opposite. I think, because to an extent,
what players are seeing is when you can get a handle on dealing with stress, anxiety or depression,
whatever the ailments are, you’re going to be a better player. Lastly, it’s a wonderful
message to our fans, especially our young fans, that when they’re dealing
with mental-health issues there’s not a stigma. That it’s O.K. to go to a teacher, a coach, a parent, a friend, and say, “I’m having difficulty
dealing with these issues. Is there someone out
there that can help me?” – Becky Hammon is someone who’s done a lot of stuff for the NBA and
WNBA, and world in general. She’s obviously been in a position to be one of the first females interviewed for a head coaching position. So I have to ask your thoughts on the NBA, as far as being ahead
on the diversity issues that some of the other leagues may face. – I’m incredibly proud of Becky. I knew her when she was
a WNBA player, as well, and I have no doubt that she is on a track to be a head coach in this league. In terms of other diverse candidates, I think we’re doing a pretty good job, but there’s always room for improvement. I think one of the things
that we at the league can do a better job on is training the up-and-coming, next generation of general managers. We created a program at the league office so that former players
– WNBA players, too, are in that program –
can get that training, and we can create a pool of candidates. I’m proud of what’s happening
right now in the league, but I think we’re just
scratching the surface. By the way, we only have one active woman official right now. We brought a woman named Michelle Johnson to oversee our officiating program. Part of her job is to
create a more diverse pool. So that’s another area
that we’re very focused on. – I think that the referees have a very, very tough job, split seconds. And we feel like we’re
fouled, sometimes we’re not. We’ve lost a couple of games this season on reviews at the end of the game. So at what point will
you be allowed to look at the entire play during review? And is that something you guys have kind of looked at or discussed? – It’s a great question. It’s tough to find the right balance. When you’re looking at replay, the other issue becomes
how far back do you go? Because we hear that all the time, they’ll look and say, “Well yes, on the replay,
you can see that his foot was on the line. But he was fouled. But right before he was fouled,
another player was fouled.” I think, at the end of the day, we should err on, maybe
it’s surprising from me, but less replay. It’s a game of flow. It’s inevitable that officials are going to
get some calls wrong. And I think that when you balance that against the flow of the game, at some point I think we
just have to accept that. It’s part of the game. There’s
going to be human error. – Looking at sports gambling, that’s something that
was instituted recently, according to the Supreme Court ruling. One of my Twitter followers – I put out a poll for Twitter to get some fans involved
with the interview as well – they asked what relationship the league will have with gambling, and will it differ state to state? And my question, personally, was regarding the BRI, how
that’ll affect the BRI? – My preference was that we would replace the existing law that was
struck down by the Supreme Court with a new federal law that would’ve had a consistent regulation
from state to state. What the Supreme Court has done now is, by knocking down the current federal law, and Congress not stepping in
to replace it with a new law, we now are going to have this
hodgepodge of regulations from state to state. I think you can tell just
by virtue of my using the word “hodgepodge,” I don’t think that’s something that’s in the interest of the league. Having said that, I’m still in favor of legalized sports betting. I think it’ll be additive to the league. I think that we know right now that there’s many hundreds of
billions of dollars bet in the U.S. illegally on sports, and it’ll all go into BRI. It’s part of our, in essence, 50-50 split with your
players’ association. That’s revenue directly associated to the playing of the game basketball. Whatever money comes in as a result will be part of our
partnership with the players. – Now in light of what’s
going on in America right now, it’s only right that I
bring up the situation about the White House disinvitation. I think this may be the first time that it’s ever happened in sports. So I have to ask the
importance of people like Steve Kerr, Coach Popovich, LeBron, Steph, kind of speaking out and using the platform they have in place. – I’ll begin by saying I’m really proud of all of these members of the NBA community, who are speaking out on issues
that are important to them. In terms of the White House invitation, I was saddened by it. We have a very divided country right now, and I’d only say I look back to sports to see how we can do even
more to build bridges. I’ve talked to many players about this, and it’s important, I think, that they feel comfortable and
safe, frankly, in their jobs, knowing that that type
of political expression is encouraged. When you look back in the
history of this league, it’s part of the DNA. – As always, I appreciate
you taking some time with us. Thank you.
– Thank you, C.J.


  1. Is there any chance in future that we get this in other languages, atleast as a text? Like german or french language. I appreciate your fantastic work

  2. I really like Adam Silver. I didn't totally hate Stern but him and Silver are like night and day. Adam Silver seems so approachable.

  3. What is CJ nervous about? Read his body language when Silver is talking about depression in the league. He's fidgeting, biting his lip, gently rocking, and his agitation comes through his well practiced veneer of poise. What's going through his mind? Was Silver dominating the floor for too long? Is he uncomfortable with the subject?
    CJ has said in other interviews that his family watches his games, reads the body language of his teammates, and gives him relentless feedback on how his play should differ to improve team cohesion. He's aware of this stuff…

  4. Glad to see CJ bringing mental health up, there's alot of history of soccer stars destroying their careers and teams burying mental health issues under the rug. Let's not let that happen in the NBA.

  5. Urkel is depress him self, cause CJ McCollum can't get a 💍 hateing on other teams urkel wants to leave but don't want to hurt Dame 😂😂😂

  6. You notice it was k love first then DeRozan second !!! These snakes will every chance presentable they will lift thier race above all and it is US who play the games with sweat !!!? Money is the evil intentions of why Black MEN are chosen more !! They bring more of the loot!!! Slavery slavery Slavery!!! NBA players will it hurt you to shout out something that unrighteous to speak out???? No !! We can get jobs if they close the NBA down !!! We need( ownerships) to this OUR PEOPLE!!! Love you ISraelites !!

  7. He's a aekenazi Jew , I Hope you guys know this!! Ask him where he's forefathers from ??? Same People sold your parents to ships!!! ECT …..Rise Up To Kingship!! Take it by force !!!

  8. Ever since this guy became commissioner the league suddenly became soft and boring to watch.. idk if he’s to blame or what.. but I miss strategy in nba basketball and the new shot clock rule is dumb as fuck

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