The NFL has been dubbed the “no fun league” for its unwillingness to let players celebrate on the field. It’s one of the things that most fans dislike about North America’s top sport.
This won’t be much of an issue in the NBA under commissioner Adam Silver.
In speaking to Portland Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum recently, Silver made sure to note that he’s not a proponent of players toning down on-court celebrations.
“I don’t think players should tone it down. I mean, and I think one of the things about NBA players — you guys are so exposed when you’re out there,” Silver said in the Q&A on The Players’ Tribune. “You’re not deep into dugouts and far away from the fans in the stands. You’re obviously not under helmets and enormous padding and full-body uniforms.”
The popular commissioner continued.
“I love guys being able to celebrate. I’m a huge fan of Russell Westbrook’s, and I think he’s a guy who does it just right. You just want to make sure it’s not done in guys’ faces in a way that’s then perceived as taunting.”
In many ways, Silver has proven himself to be ahead of the curve in comparison to the commissioners in other major sports leagues. This is just the latest example. It’s refreshing to see someone of his ilk display a fandom for the game he’s overseeing.
Now, there are obvious limits to this. Taunting is an unprofessional way of showing your personality on the court. Though, this hasn’t been much of an issue around the Association.
The Golden State Warriors received some heat for their on-court exploits during what was a history-breaking 73-win regular season. While NBA traditionalists might have an issue with it, Silver seems to be more than fine watching players express themselves on the court.
This is only going to broaden the interest the NBA receives as it moves forward with a more liberal top dog in the league office.