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Enes Kanter: Adam Silver deserves MVP award for his steady leadership

NBA players routinely laud Adam Silver for his steady, practical and inspiring brand of leadership, and Boston Celtics star Enes Kanter became the latest one to praise the commissioner for his handling of the league’s hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The NBA, under Silver’s guidance, continues to methodically explore every possible option available to make the determination on whether or not the league will resume the 2019-20 season or cancel it altogether. Whatever the NBA decides, Kanter believes Silver deserves all the credit for the pragmatic manner in which he has overseen a league thrown into chaos amid this ongoing crisis.

In fact, the Celtics big man said on the latest episode of his “The Enes Kanter Show” podcast that he believes the commissioner has been the NBA’s MVP this season.

“For NBA, man, I feel like it’s player safety first,” Kanter said. “If you look at it, the NBA was the first league that suspended its (season). So I think if there was (no more NBA this season), I feel like we should give MVP to Adam Silver because he’s been doing an amazing job, man, just keeping the players safe and just taking the first step and saying, ‘Hey, we’ve got to do this.’ And all we can care about is how others are getting affected.”

As Kanter notes — and as Carmelo Anthony recently observed as well — the NBA became the first professional sports league to boldly address the burgeoning pandemic by suspending its season once Utah Jazz star Rudy Gobert was diagnosed with COVID-19 earlier this month. The difficult decision made by Silver to put the NBA’s season on hiatus opened up the floodgates and inspired other sports leagues to follow its lead.

Silver is perhaps the most highly regarded commissioner in sports. Some of the NBA’s biggest stars frequently praise the commissioner over his loyalty to players, commitment to the betterment of the league and unquestioned integrity.

Those qualities have been on display over these past few weeks, and it’s Silver’s unparalleled management skills that has left the NBA well positioned to handle this unprecedented situation.