NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said he supports the Clippers’ efforts to build an arena because it could ease scheduling conflicts among the team, the Lakers and the Kings at Staples Center.
The project would contain a practice facility, team offices, a medical clinic and parking.
There’s also ongoing litigation pitting the proposal against Madison Square Garden Co., which owns and operates the nearby Forum.
During his annual news conference before the NBA Finals, Silver acknowledged that pending litigation that involves two NBA owners — Steve Ballmer of the Clippers and James Dolan of the Knicks, who is chairman and chief executive of Madison Square Garden — is less than ideal.
“I have talked to Jim Dolan and Steve Ballmer about that lawsuit,” Silver said. "Obviously it's not something you like to see between partners in the NBA. I don't think there's a role for the league at the moment, but it's something that we're paying a lot of attention to, and there may be an opportunity at some point for us to help create some sort of reconciliation, but right now it's existing sort of outside of NBA governance.”
MSG has two lawsuits pending in regards to the Clippers’ project in addition to lawsuits by two other community groups.
The Clippers lease with Staples Center runs through the 2023-24 season.
Midseason tournament remains possibility
Silver continued to express his interest in the NBA having some kind of in-season tournament or competition similar to those played in most professional soccer leagues, though any implementation of the idea seems far away.
Silver said he’s discussed the idea with the National Basketball Players’ Assn. in preliminary ways.
“I think it's much too early to have a real sense of where we are with the with players association only because we're in the early planning process of investigating whether there really is an opportunity,” Silver said. “It would need to be negotiated with the players association, I've had very general discussions with [NBPA executive director] Michele Roberts about the notion that these are the kinds of things we're looking at. I think she, of course, is supportive of looking at any ideas we have to build the business over time. But there's nothing concrete that we have brought to the players association and said, you know, ‘Is this something you'll support?’”
Anunoby could make playoff debut Sunday
Toronto wing OG Anunoby might be available for Game 2 of the NBA Finals, Toronto coach Nick Nurse said.
Anunoby, who averaged 20.2 minutes and 7.0 points this season, hasn’t played since undergoing an emergency appendectomy before the start of Toronto’s first-round series with Orlando.
“It does look like we may have him for Sunday to at least dress and, well, be active and who knows then,” Nurse said. “It's a few days away and he'll probably improve between now and then, and we'll see how game ready he will be, but the plan as of now is to dress him on Sunday, activate him.”