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Adam Silver supports expanding All-Star rosters

Adam Silver

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks at a news conference before the skills competition at the NBA All Star basketball weekend, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)


Adam Silver didn’t want to choose between DeMarcus Cousins and Damian Lillard.

The next time the NBA commissioner picks an injury replacement, he might not have to weigh two candidates so deserving.

Silver was asked about increasing All-Star rosters from their current 12 per conference to 13 or even 15.

Silver on ESPN Radio:

I think that’s something that will get very strong consideration.

I think that’s an issue that I’m sure we’ll end up discussing with the Players Association. It has a direct impact on many of the player’s bonuses. There’s preset bonuses in their contracts for making the All-Star team.

I think counter-balancing that is the issue of playing time. Rod Thorn and I were having this discussion yesterday. We said we should move to Calipari’s platoon system for All-Star just to make sure that everyone gets playing time.

But in all seriousness, that’s one of the concerns with a larger team. We want to make sure guys get minutes as well if they’re All-Stars.

But I’m in favor of expanding it. I’m not sure by whether it’s one or two, but it is something I’m sure Michele Roberts and I will discuss.

Increasing All-Star roster sizes is a good idea.

The number of NBA teams (blue) has increased faster than the number of All-Star roster spots between both conferences (orange):


The result?

Fewer All-Stars per NBA team than ever.


Not counting the additional honor created by injury replacements, there are 0.8 All-Stars per NBA team now – less than a third of the 1961 high of 2.75.

Increasing the All-Star rosters to 13 players, which would match the size of regular-season rosters, would give the league .87 All-Stars per NBA team. That’s about where the NBA was in the first half of the 1990s.

So, 13-man All-Star rosters wouldn’t be much of a shakeup. Rather, they’d honor two players who probably deserve it.

The Collective Bargaining Agreement allows the NBA to unilaterally change the All-Star roster sizes, so if Silver really wants to do this, he could without consulting Michele Roberts. But as he mentioned, some players have All-Star bonuses in their contracts. Owners won’t want to just pay extra money. So, Silver is surely looking for a concession on Roberts’ side – even if the commissioner believes this is a good idea anyway.

Because he says he does, it’s hard to see this not happening eventually.