Samson: The other incentive behind Adam Silver announcing a $2.5 million donation ahead of NBA All-Star Game

The NBA All-Star Game is set for March 7, but many players have been vocal against the game happening, saying they need rest and it’s unnecessary with the current situation with the coronavirus pandemic. Despite the backlash, including comments from the NBA’s top star LeBron James, the game will be played in Atlanta.

As David Samson has previously stated on his podcast “Nothing Personal with David Samson,” the simple reason the game is happening is money. The league wants to meet obligations to their sponsors and TV deals  as best as they possibly can to keep the cash flowing in.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver addressed the media regarding the upcoming game and Samson broke it all down on the latest episode of his podcast.

“There is no doubt why there’s an All-Star Game, it’s all about the network and the broadcast, so much so they made it a made for TV event,” he said, echoing previous statements he made on past podcasts.

He said what happened next for Silver was, “You do what you have to do when you’ve been backed into a corner and you have made your bed and you start to lie in it” and he had to admit. that it was critical to have an All-Star Game

“And then he had to go to the go-to line to try to make everything better. He announced a $2.5 million donation … to historically black colleges and universities,” Samson explains “The NBA and the Union will be donating that $2.5 million as part of holding this event and to support awareness around equity and access to COVID-19 care relief and vaccines. And he says it was Chris Paul’s idea.”

As someone with experience in front offices, Samson knows this is not money they collected right now, it’s previously put aside for every time something major happens in order for them to look good as a community partner. 

“That doesn’t make it bad money. That doesn’t make it a bad donation. It doesn’t make it a non-worth while donation. But I just want to give you insight that this is not Adam Silver going to the owners and saying, ‘Hey, give me a few hundred grand each,'” the podcast host says.

Silver had not choice but to address the media, Samson says, because he had to make the image of the All-Star Game a good one.

“But make no mistake the reason Adam Silver chose to meet the media and go on the talk show tour is that he needed to change the narrative, because he needed Turner to be comfortable with having this All Star Game,”  Samson said. “He needed everybody, all of the corporate sponsors, all of the corporate partners, all the stake holders in the NBA, needed to understand that this decision was in the best interest in everybody, including the players, even when they know it’s not.”

While this is happening after the outward criticism from players, Samson says Silver is going in reverse order.

“When you have to make a decision for your league that you know is a money-based decision, you have to come out and explain to your players why you’re doing it. And don’t pretend it’s for any other reason,” he said.

You have to get the unification behind the scenes and you appear on the airwaves as an already unified front. “That’s what should’ve happened with Adam silver, but alas it did not,” Samson concludes.

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