A few other issues were briefly touched on, but here is a summary of all the main topics.
Hacking: The NBA just changed its rule on Hack-a-Shaq, as Lucas wrote about here. Silver said that the NBA projected this adjustment would reduce “intentional off-ball fouling” by around 45%. There are several reasons to be skeptical of this statistic, but the NBA has undoubtedly done a lot of research, so there is some measure of optimism. On the other hand, teams will assuredly adjust their hacking strategies towards the front end of each quarter. If a team is playing the Clippers and pick up their 3rd team foul in minute 9 or 10 in the 4th quarter and are either up or down substantially, there is no reason to think they won’t foul off-ball quickly a couple times and start the hack early. The other worrying thing was Silver’s statement on being “realistic” during the hacking process. The obvious meaning behind that is that there are significant forces opposed to any real changes to the hacking rules, which is a bad sign for those of us who enjoy watching actual basketball.
Superteams: While Silver conceded that Kevin Durant was well within his rights to play for whomever he wanted once he reached free agency, he definitively stated that “I don’t think that having two superteams is good for the league”. What does this mean? I suspect we see changes to max salaries in the upcoming CBA-- either limiting teams to only one “true max” player, or raising the max salary to essentially force the same rule. There could also be even bigger incentives for players to stay on the teams on which they were drafted to prevent free agency, but that tactic hasn’t seem to have worked well so far. Again, this is something that could be addressed in many, many ways, and we now know exactly how the commissioner feels on the issue.
Charlotte All Star Game: This isn’t relevant to the Clippers per se, but was still intriguing. There is some controversy as to whether the NBA should keep the 2017 All Star Weekend in Charlotte due to North Carolina’s new laws regarding transgender citizens and their rights in regards to bathroom use. Silver says they discussed the issue, but haven’t come to any decision yet.
Players Being Political: This topic was raised in regards to several Minnesota Lynx players wearing shirts protesting recent police activity in the United States. Silver said he fully approved of players “supporting their hearts”, but that putting statements on shirts is a “slippery slope”. I don’t think we see much of this going forward, as putting those statements on jerseys could lead to trouble with sponsors and image.