Adam Silver irked that 76ers' probe of Bryan Colangelo casting shadow on Finals

OAKLAND, Calif. -- NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Thursday he has been in touch with the Philadelphia 76ers regarding the team's investigation of team executive Bryan Colangelo's social media activity.

"The notion here was let's find out what's going on," Silver said. "You have to separate sort of the chatter and sort of what either fans or, frankly, the media are saying from the facts. And the first thing we have to do here is determine what the actual facts are in this circumstance."

The Ringer published a story earlier this week that linked Colangelo to anonymous Twitter accounts that may have leaked sensitive information on 76ers players' health and trade activity. The team launched an internal investigation Wednesday, engaging a New York City law firm to handle it.

Depending on the results of the investigation, Colangelo could face discipline from the league if he violated confidentiality rules. Silver said he didn't have any further information on the matter but wasn't pleased it was taking some attention away from the start of the NBA Finals.

"From the league standpoint, here we are, Game 1 of the Finals, it's not necessarily something we want to be talking about," Silver said. "But it's the reality of this league."

Among the topics Silver also addressed:

• When asked about the league's feelings on the same teams playing in the Finals for the fourth consecutive season, Silver pointed out that the Warriors and Cavs have the two highest payrolls in the league at $137 million each. He went so far as to raise the specter of a hard salary cap like the NFL's that could potentially even out the league's competitive balance.

"It's something that we'll continue to look at. There are pros and cons to doing (a hard cap)," Silver said. "Historically, one of the issues in our league was we didn't necessarily want to break up teams."

Both teams are subject to a penal luxury tax that could limit them going forward. The Cavs will pay more than $50 million in tax this season. If the Warriors keep their four stars together and have to pay them maximum salaries, they could face a $400 million payroll including luxury tax in two seasons.

Instituting a hard cap has been a long-held desire of owners and a deal point the players' union has long refused. The current collective bargaining agreement runs through 2023-24, so the topic of a true hard cap is moot for the foreseeable future.

• When asked about the concept of expansion, Silver repeated his previous position that it is not on the league's agenda. Instead, Silver said, he is focused on making sure all 30 teams are financially healthy. Several NBA markets are struggling and requiring significant revenue sharing from richer teams, making expansion unlikely. Silver also made a passing mention of eventually expanding to other countries in North America, which is likely a reference to Mexico City, where the league has been holding regular-season games for several years.

• Silver said the NBA's situation with a rule requiring players to stand for the national anthem, which has been in place for more than 35 years, is different from the rule just adopted by the NFL.

"In the case of the NBA, of course, 25 percent of our league is comprised of players who aren't American. So it's hard to say in the case of the NBA it's about patriotism when a quarter of our players aren't even American," Silver said. "But we've viewed it, and we collectively have viewed it, as a moment of unity in our arenas. Frankly, it's been a different dialogue in the NBA than it's been in the NFL."

• Silver said he has spoken to Milwaukee Bucks player Sterling Brown, who filed a civil suit against the Milwaukee Police Department following an incident earlier this year. Silver also spoke with Brown's father, who was a police officer in Chicago.

"I saw the video for the first time when the public saw it. It's horrific," Silver said. "I think for any of us, regardless of the fact that he's an NBA player, it was difficult to watch. It's painful."

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