NFL owners might not always agree with Commissioner Roger Goodell, but they’ve been willing to pay him (quite well) over the years because business is good.
That doesn’t mean some haven’t looked around for an upgrade.
According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, NBA Commissioner Silver said he hasn’t considered it when NFL owners have asked if he’d ever consider switching leagues.
“I’ll just say I have not given it any thought,” Silver said. “I feel very fortunate to be in this position. As a longtime fan, as a long time league employee, the opportunity to become the commissioner of this league was beyond anything I even ever dreamed of as a kid.
“I’ve loved every day I’ve been in this job, and I think there’s nothing but enormous opportunity ahead for this league. And ultimately, I realize I’m just passing through like every player who’s gone through this league and ultimately like every owner, and I feel an enormous obligation to the fans and to this greater NBA family to do my best and try my hardest every day. But that’s where a 100 percent of my focus is.”
ESPN reported in August 2017 that a confidant of one owner had reached out to Silver to gauge his interest, and he immediately said no thanks. Goodell signed a five-year extension in December 2017.
The latest report suggests that owners (plural) have been in touch with Silver, along with other Fortune 500 companies. There are plenty of reasons for that, as he’s presiding over an ascending league. Revenues have risen from $4.8 billion to $9.1 billion during the five years since Silver took over for David Stern.
They have also embraced new technology to improve officiating, generated more revenue with jersey patch sponsorships and other ideas, and earned high marks for working with players on social justice issues.
Any of those would be reason for an NFL owner to be curious. But so far Silver has been willing to pass.