Ever since this Sports Illustrated cover, I've thought of Adam Silver differently. At the time of publishing, he had been on the job for just over three months. He'd gone from David Stern's untested, but exceeding capable nerdy sidekick to become one of the most beloved sports commissioners in recent memory. Thirty years of Stern's administration before him, and Silver became Basketball's Pope in three lousy months. The S.I. cover makes him look saintly. He's giving a toned and assured look—his eyes and smirk hinting at the size of his hammer. The glow from behind gives Silver's outline a messianic quality.

Right now, Adam Silver is so hot that GIFs like these exist.

This wholesale enthusiasm for an NBA commissioner is something we haven't seen in some time. Stern had a relationship with everyone involved in working for or loving the NBA that can be summed up like this:

It's Silver's pragmatic-as-advertised style and openness to new ideas that has more progressive fans excited. David Stern, accomplished as he is, was known as an asshole. Silver's remodeled a commissioner's office that had grown out-of-touch (but never lacking in passion), and has instilled a new sense of drive and experimentation into its drapes. Find out what measures have actually been taken and what other advancements are currently underway within the NBA in Put in Work: What Adam Silver's Done Since Taking Over.