He is the guy you get to see once the NBA draft in June descends into sheer monotony — also known as the second round. But he knows the names and gets them right. That would be the league's deputy commissioner, Adam Silver, who will succeed David Stern on Feb. 1, 2014.
Of course, Silver is more than the guy standing at the podium once a year. He has been at his current job as Stern's No. 2 since 2006, following in the footsteps of Russ Granik, and has long been considered the favorite to eventually run the league.
Previously, Silver, 50, was president and chief operating officer of NBA Entertainment. His influence has increased through his two decades of work with the league, including a role in the last three collective bargaining agreements with the NBA Players Assn., the last two TV deals, the launch of NBA TV and the expansion of the NBA's digital assets on numerous platforms. NBA TV is now available in 60 million U.S. homes.