NBA commissioner: All-Star rosters could expand in future

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Tuesday night that the league will look at expanding All-Star rosters and the way players are selected.

Speaking before the Kings-Warriors game in Sacramento, Silver said the NBA will discuss increasing the number of spots for the All-Star game with the players' union in the future. He said he's mostly pleased with the voting process but could see players getting involved, too.

Currently, 12 players are selected for the Eastern and Western Conference teams. Fans vote for the starters and coaches choose the reserves. Silver selects any replacements, as he did last week when he chose Kings center DeMarcus Cousins to take injured Lakers star Kobe Bryant's spot in the West.

Silver said it was a difficult decision to select Cousins over Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard. He said he felt for Lillard, and the two exchanged text messages about the decision.

"From his standpoint, he did everything that was necessary," Silver said. "So maybe we have to find a way to expand the slots we have for the All-Star team."

Silver did not elaborate on the number of players that could be added in the future.

Increasing rosters would seem to sit well with players, many of whom receive contract bonuses for making the All-Star team. From the league's standpoint, it could make sure more teams are represented, giving more fans a reason to watch. The concern, of course, would be diluting talent.

Silver said the NBA also might talk to the union about changing the voting process — or at least adding to it. He noted how NFL players are involved in picking Pro Bowl teams as an example of how players could get involved in the process.

"But at the end of the day, however you do the selection process, as I go through the list on the East and the West, I think with the exception of Damian Lillard — and it was a very close call for that slot — I think the fans together with the coaches do a pretty good job," Silver said.

Earlier in the day, the commissioner toured the construction site of Sacramento's future downtown arena. The $477 million building is expected to open for the 2016-17 season.

Silver said he's amazed at the progress of the arena and praised Kings owner Vivek Ranadive and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson for spearheading the effort. He stopped short of promising a future All-Star game to Sacramento, saying the city needs more hotel rooms — among other things — to accommodate the event.


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