Since the conception of professional sports, there has been a disconnect between the players who represent the team and the people/person that own the franchise. Many athletes have complained that certain terminology cultivates a "slave-to-master" relationship between themselves and the front office. In an effort to eradicate this feeling, the NBA is looking to replace the term "owner" with a title that better displays their partnership with the players, TMZ reports.
In Dec. of 2018, it was reported that the NBA is the most diverse professional sports league with over 80 percent of its players being people of color. But there is a major diversity gap between the NBA's decision makers and its stars. In fact, Michael Jordan's Charlotte Hornets is the only team that's owned solely by an African-American.
Several teams are now taking steps towards change, spurned in large part by Draymond Green's appearance on LeBron James' The Shop, in which he argued against the term.
In 2018, Steve Ballmer of the Los Angeles Clippers decided to change his title from "owner" to "team chairman." Remember, the team's previous owner, Donald Sterling, was ousted after racist remarks he made were caught on tape. The Sixers' ownership group is now referred to as the Managing Partners and Limited Partners, while a spokesperson for the Golden State Warriors told TMZ that they call the team's majority shareholders the "Board of Governors."
Although this isn't an official move by the NBA, teams deciding to use progressive terminology speaks to the league's desire to grow. Outside of these changes, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has gone on record expressing his desires to globalize the game. Taking a cue from Soccer's Premier League, Silver wants to institute an additional tournament to the NBA season. Silver has also ushered in the NBA's upcoming league in Africa to help nurture and expand the love for the game.