NBA Commissioner Adam Silver Won't Give Up, Still Wants To Raise The NBA Age Limit

Photo Removed
Complex Original

Blank pixel used during image takedowns

Photo Removed


...I'll give you one more: I think it would benefit the league to raise the minimum age from 19 to 20.

Why can't you do that now? If it's possible to dictate that players can't sign until they're 19, why is making that age 20 any more complicated?

The reason we can't unilaterally do it is because it must be collectively bargained. We bargained with the union many years ago in order to move it from 18 to 19. Going to 20 was on the table during the last bargaining cycle [in 2011], but it was an issue we parked, having already lost several weeks of the season [due to the lockout], and we were anxious to get the season going. But it's something I hope to address in the near future.

What is the union's principal argument against raising the age limit? It seems like it would be good for everyone?the NBA, the college game, the physical development of the players.

Their principal argument is that it's a restriction on players. And as a philosophical argument, I totally understand that. Of course it's a restriction, in the same way a draft is a restriction. But our view is that it would make for a better league. You'd have more skilled players, more mature players. The draft would be better. It would be better for basketball in general. Strong college basketball is great for the NBA. And we know those players are eventually going to come to the NBA, whether they are 19 or 20 or 21.

Latest in Sports