By Greg Echlin
Twelve new head coaches, a new team nickname and a new commissioner—such a shakeup could signal rough waters for the National Basketball Association. But the upcoming 2013–2014 season will likely be seen as more of a transition period as the league has stabilized itself on the labor front and in its franchise cities.
Amid the reorganization, there have been several recent signs of progress. The NBA is positioning itself for an even bigger imprint on the global basketball scene, something that outgoing commissioner David Stern has long envisioned. And in the second full season of the new deal with the National Basketball Players Association, the league offers more competitive balance on the floor and in the marketplace. The players’ association also has a new leader in Los Angeles Clippers star Chris Paul, its highest-profile president in years.
But perhaps the most significant shift this season will occur in-house, when Adam Silver succeeds Stern on the first of February—30 years after Stern took over as commissioner. Silver, who was hired by Stern as a special assistant in 1992, has risen through the ranks of the NBA chain of command, becoming Stern’s right-hand man when deputy commissioner Russ Granik retired seven years ago.
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