Adam Silver Appointed NBA Commissioner


Adam Silver, Duke ’84, was appointed NBA Commissioner on February 1, 2014.

Silver presides over a global sports and media organization built around five professional sports leagues:  the NBA, WNBA, NBA G League, NBA 2K League, and Basketball Africa League.  The leagues are dedicated to growing basketball worldwide, embracing innovation and new technologies, increasing transparency, and using basketball to bring people together and promote health and fitness.

Silver was named Sports Business Journal’s Executive of the Decade and ranked No. 1 on the publication’s annual list of the 50 Most Influential People in Sports Business.  In addition, he was named to TIME’s 100 Most Influential People, Fortune’s World’s 50 Greatest Leaders, and The Bloomberg 50, Bloomberg Businessweek’s list of 50 people who defined global business.  Silver earned Sports Executive of the Year honors at the Sports Business Awards and was named Sports Illustrated’s Executive of the Year.

Before becoming commissioner, Silver served as NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer for eight years.  He has been instrumental to many of the league’s signature achievements, including the negotiation of three collective bargaining agreements with the National Basketball Players Association; the development of the WNBA, NBA G League, NBA 2K League, and the Basketball Africa League; the partnership with Turner Broadcasting to manage the NBA’s digital assets; and the creation of NBA China and NBA Africa.

Before serving as the league’s second-in-command, Silver spent more than eight years as president and COO of NBA Entertainment.  Since joining the league in 1992, Silver has also held the positions of senior VP and COO of NBA Entertainment, NBA chief of staff, and special assistant to the commissioner.

Silver was appointed to Duke University’s Board of Trustees in 2015.  He received a Distinguished Alumni Award in 2015 from Duke University and 2016 from the University of Chicago Law School. In addition, he was a recipient of the University of Chicago’s Professional Achievement Award in 2020.  He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Business Council. He serves on the board of trustees for the Rockefeller Foundation and the Paley Center for Media.  Silver is also a vice chairman of the board of the Lustgarten Pancreatic Cancer Foundation.

Before joining the NBA, Silver was a litigation associate at the New York law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore, where he concentrated on media and antitrust cases.  He also served as a law clerk to Federal District Court Judge Kimba Wood in New York City.  Silver graduated from Duke University and the University of Chicago Law School.