‘It Makes Sense’: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver Says League Will Do Away With the Term ‘Owner’

The term owner is considered a dated one, and teams are moving away from it, said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver during an interview.

According to a report, as of 2018, a little more than 80 percent of NBA players were people of color, thus making the term “owner” problematic because of its racial overtones.

Silver said although the word may still be seen in certain NBA documents, most teams are using another title these days.

“I don’t want to overreact to the term, because as I said earlier, people end up twisting themselves into knots avoiding the use of the word owner. But we moved away from that term years ago in the league,” he told TMZ in a video that was published on Monday. “We call our team owners ‘governor’ of the team and ‘alternate governor.’ I think it makes sense.”

“You’ll find the word throughout memos over the past decade in the NBA,” Silver continued. “But I’m sensitive to it, and I think to the extent teams are moving away from the term we’ll stick with using ‘governor.'”

The topic of owner being used in professional sports came up last year when NBA player Draymond Green talked about it on LeBron James‘ HBO show “The Shop.” Green said that “CEO” or “chairman” should be used instead.

Snoop Dogg, however, who was also in the episode, said he likes the term, especially for himself because he’s an owner in entertainment and business. But comedian and former talk show host Jon Stewart disagreed.

“When your product is purely the labor of people then owner sounds like something that is of a futile nature. It’s old world,” he reasoned.

Silver brought up Green’s point during his interview, as well as those in the league who don’t mind the term “owner.”

“Players have gone both ways,” he stated. “I think a few players have actually spoken out and said the greatest thing that ever happened was when Michael Jordan was able to call himself an owner.”

“But of course, Draymond Green has been very public about the fact that we should be moving away from the term, and I completely respect that,” Silver added.

Back to top