NBA continues commitment to troops

VIDEO: Commissioner Silver talks about the NBA’s “Commitment to Service”

NEW YORK — NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, held a press conference at Madison Square Garden before the exhibition game between United States and the Dominican Republic to discuss the collaboration between the NBA, USA Basketball and the Department of Defense.

“Roughly 10 years ago, through [Coach Mike Krzyzewski], USA Basketball began a Hoops for Troops program with our United States Military,” said Silver. “[The] General and Coach K have both West Point and Duke University in common, and then over time that Hoops for Troops program was brought to the NBA and has turned into a commitment to service in which the NBA has partnered with our military, all 30 teams, to perform community service in our communities throughout the league.

“All 30 teams are now involved in it, and in fact, around Veterans Day this season, all of our teams have commitments to work together with military bases in their communities.”

“I like to think that this partnership — and that’s what it is, is a partnership — brings together members of the best military in the world with members of the best basketball teams in the world,” said General Dempsey.

“I mean, I think it’s actually quite a remarkable partnership and one that makes sense to America because thankfully the military enjoys a great esteem among the American people, as do these athletes, so if we can bond together and commit to give back, I think that we’ll be doing a lot of good, not just for ourselves, collaboratively, but also for the country, and that’s our goal.”

Silver also addressed the participation of NBA players in international events, a hot topic in the wake of Paul George‘s recent injury. “The answer is there is a big risk without enormous financial reward,” he said, “but I’m sitting next to our highest ranking military official, so I’m almost embarrassed to be talking about the risks that our players face as compared to what our men and women in uniform face, and only reiterate that ultimately it’s a personal decision for these players.

“And I should point out, it’s not just U.S. players we’re referring to. Probably collectively we have close to 50 NBA players participating in this World Cup on behalf of their national teams. So from an NBA standpoint, we have to look across all nationalities, not just on behalf of the U.S. team, but ultimately there is risk. I commented on Paul George earlier. I’m enormously sympathetic to him and his family because of his injury, but as he has said himself, he had no second thoughts about having participated. Larry Bird said it well: Injuries happen in sports. It could have happened outside the context of our national team, as well.”

12 Comments

  1. TROYBOY says:

    This is a forum for Sport Fans. If you are politically motivated, go find a forum to express your views. Everytime we turn on the TV, somebody is politicizing something. Let us enjoy and criticioze each other on this sports forum about sports. Nobody cares about political views. Political Correctness is killing this nation. Let Sport Fans be themselves on their stage.

  2. koudrus says:

    Mike D, Whisker and Paul, I agree with you a 100 procent. It’s war propoganda at it’s finest and it’s pretty lame for million dollar athletes to support poor people going to war and getting killed for the interests of America’s elites.

  3. Paul says:

    Horrific partnering. US military aggression doesn’t deserve our support.

  4. Daniel says:

    For those who are unwilling to see the military for what it is I find you insulting. The military has been and will be always the protector of people. For those that serve the majority serve to improve themselves and the right to protect people. What do you want the military to do? Not try to do something to protect the Iraqi people from zealots who feel that we should ignore their genocide? I have gotten off the subject of basketball but when I see people who have not even served making judgements based on being ill informed really disappoints me.

  5. I can not understand the ultra-nationalism of American society

  6. Brad says:

    Mike D is an idiot.

  7. RipCitySonic says:

    I agree 100% with Mike D and Whisker. Thank you to you two!

  8. Kirby Record says:

    Yeah if injury risk without pay is the only issue, then stop practicing and playing exhibition. Fine the players if the drive a motorcycle or car. Make them all live in underground shelters where there’s no injury risk. Depends where you draw the line.

  9. Mike D says:

    No surprises here. The Government gives the NBA financial incentives to exalt and glorify the military (by far, the largest WELFARE program in the U.S.)…

    and the NBA gives the military direct access (mostly through commercials and other good PR) to the MILLIONS of IMPRESSIONABLE and LOW-SKILLED fans who follow their brand.

    To all NBA fans…you can do a LOT better than joining the military. Just say NO! to any job that would have you push pencils for a living OR kill lots of innocent people in far-away countries.

    Take a page from LeBron’s playbook and be creative — start your own business.

  10. Whisker says:

    It’s an international league at this point, they should stay out of politics. What’s next, are they going to wear jerseys that say “Go Drone Strikes”, “Invade, Invade, Invade”, “We want the Iraqi oil”? Isn’t there enuff pro US military propaganda out there? They should rather help the people that US international politics have hurt, do something which unites people all around the world, not the other way around.

  11. timothyhoward says:

    I think this is good for the NBA.

  12. harriethehawk says:

    Good stuff!