Commissioner Silver confident in Kings' arena plan

Commissioner Silver confident in Kings' arena plan
February 6, 2014, 12:30 pm
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This is the commissioner's first visit to Sacramento and that's a huge honor. He's gonna be, I believe, one of the best leaders of any sports league.
Vivek Ranadive on Adam Silver

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is impressed with Sacramento's proposal for a new arena, and he thinks the league will play a preseason game in India one day.

Silver visited with Kings owner Vivek Ranadive on Wednesday in his first trip since taking over for David Stern. He received a standing ovation from the sellout crowd that turned out for Sacramento's 109-101 victory against Toronto.

"This is the commissioner's first visit to Sacramento and that's a huge honor," Ranadive said. "He's gonna be, I believe, one of the best leaders of any sports league."

The 51-year-old Silver became the NBA's fifth commissioner when he got the keys from the retiring Stern on Saturday. Silver began working for the league in 1992 and served in a variety of roles before becoming Stern's right-hand man as deputy commissioner in 2006.

In his first trip in the top job, Silver got a close look at the plans for Sacramento's downtown arena. He also sat with the Kings' new ownership group during a portion of the game.

Silver said he was impressed by the design for the Kings' new facility, which has yet to receive final approval from the city of Sacramento.

"We've spent some time going over the plans for the arena. I've never seen anything quite like it," he said. "(The arena) has an inside/outside vision of Vivek and his partners. Everything appears to be on track and we remain excited and thrilled of the opportunity here."

Silver also talked to Ranadive about a spring trip to the owner's native India, a new frontier for the NBA. Silver said he anticipates holding a preseason game there one day.

As for Silver's priorities, he mentioned enhancing the NBA brand and making it as popular as the NFL.

"My priority is the game right now. I've been largely involved with the business of the league for the last 22 years," Silver said. "I mean what a wonderful game this is. It's not just the global vision of Vivek's but the continuing of building of the game in the United States as well.

"I'm very focused on the relationship with the college game to the NBA and the relationship with amateur basketball to the college game,"

Silver said he will remain in Sacramento on Thursday morning and his itinerary also includes meetings with officials from the Golden State Warriors, who are attempting to build a new arena on two piers in downtown San Francisco.

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