It's hard to imagine an NBA without David Stern as commissioner. But even warlocks can't live forever. At some point, Stern will amble off into fandom and Law and Order marathons, and the league we love will have a gaping hole at the head of the boardroom.
Luckily, Adam Silver has a large head that can fill most of that gaping hole. During his "State of the League" press conference on Saturday, Stern said that when he does eventually retire as commissioner, he will recommend that owners choose Silver, the deputy, as his replacement.
The comment and compliments paid to Silver by the often snarky and contemptuous Stern made the deputy blush. Silver doesn't necessarily have the presence of Stern -- who does? -- but he speaks with a certain directness and obviously understands the business of the NBA intimately well, having served under Stern for so long.
The real question that matters to fans at this point is whether he'll help corporate thieves rob cities of their franchises, institute lockouts to help owners capture more money or protect the integrity of the game. That's impossible to know until he gets into the corner office.