NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Friday that changes will come to the league's All-Star Game next year.
Chris Paul, the National Basketball Players Association president, called Silver to discuss changing the league's showcase game shortly after the Western Conference raced past the Eastern Conference 192-182 in a defenseless contest.
"Chris said, 'We need to fix this,'" Silver said while speaking on a panel with FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. "There is kind of a groupthink notion out there that when you have general managers and coaches in essence saying, 'Go easy, don't forget this is just for fun.'
"I just think this is one where we just have to reset," Silver continued. "Chris' suggestion was let's get back with maybe the same group we negotiated the collective bargaining -- Michael Jordan on the owners' side, Jeanie Buss, Wyc Grousbeck, James Jones, Kyle Korver and LeBron [James] and others -- let's all get back together and figure out a way to do this."
Silver and Paul tossed around potential ideas like having team captains select starters instead of fan balloting, or instituting a 4-point shot to enhance the All-Star Game.
"It is an All-Star Game, and you are out there to have fun," Silver said. "You hear people talking about 4-point shots, something that's not about to happen in the NBA but maybe in an All-Star Game; maybe there's a few spots on the floor where it is a 4-point shot, maybe there's a half-court shot in the last minute that is 10 points. I don't know. Maybe those are crazy ideas.
"I encourage people [to email] [email protected]," Silver added. "We will change it by next year. It shouldn't be playoff intensity, but the guys should be playing."
In his wide-ranging talk, Silver also addressed players and coaches, such as Golden State's Steve Kerr, San Antonio's Gregg Popovich and Detroit's Stan Van Gundy, speaking out politically against President Donald Trump in recent months.
Silver said he only encourages his players and coaches to have a voice and "be multidimensional and to feel comfortable" in whatever stance they take, and to do it in a respectful manner.
"I am incredibly proud of them -- and same for owners, by the way, and many of them are Republican and conservative, and they speak out in their own way, and I am comfortable [with it]," Silver said. "Personally, from the things that NBA league offices have been involved in, I may be naive sometimes, but I have tried to express things that we have done as a function of values and principles of this league as opposed to a particular political position. Those are values that I inherited and David Stern inherited. ... [With] the global nature of this league, it is part of who we are."
Silver also credited the New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony for holding a forum last summer in Los Angeles that involved the police department, community leaders and community youth in an effort to ease tensions between African-Americans and police.
Silver also touched on exploring rules changes that might affect game flow down the road and acknowledged that the NBA has a group studying the final two minutes of a game and whether timeouts disturb game flow.
In addition, the commissioner said Mexico City "is one we are looking very closely [at] because it is very reachable" when it comes to the possibility of international expansion. But he made it clear that expansion to Mexico "is not happening tomorrow or next year or two years from now," despite the country having hosted 24 games since 1992.
On the technology front, Silver said NBA players will at some point use "wearables" to manage and regulate the use of biometrics and biometric data. The NBA will have a committee of league officials, players' union representatives and experts look into it first.
On players' salaries, Silver said the NBA has had discussions about whether a superstar such as James could get paid "$80 million out of $100 million cap by a certain team." While Silver said James would be worth paying that kind of salary if a team decided to do so and if the rules allowed for it, he added that he believes paying a superstar so much more than other teammates would negatively affect team dynamics and morale.
"My sense is we are in a pretty good place right now," Silver said of player salaries and the salary cap.
And as far as the way the game is being played now, with the emphasis on the 3-point shot and high-scoring offenses, and whether it could become a problem down the road, Silver said, "I think aesthetically the game has looked as great as it ever has."