NBA Commissioner Adam Silver continues to build up goodwill ahead of the League’s first-ever game in Africa.

Despite a looming labor war, Silver says that players and the L have the best business partnership in all of professional sports.

The influx of cash generated by a monster new TV rights deal—flying directly in the face of claims by team owners that they’re losing money—will certainly test that relationship.

Per the AP:

The new agreement with ESPN and TNT, worth nearly $24 billion over nine years, will have a “significant impact on the viability” of teams, Silver said. […] That will also likely see players seek much more in their next collective bargaining opportunity, possibly in 2017, after they had their guarantees of revenues slashed four years ago when team owners insisted that they needed a new financial structure.

 

“I would say generally it’s a very good time for the NBA and its players right now,” Silver said. […] He was speaking in South Africa, where players’ association president Chris Paul is part of a group of 20 NBA stars set to play an exhibition game on Saturday, the first by the NBA in Africa.

 

“It’s premature to talk about that specific negotiation (collective bargaining),” Silver said. “All I will say is that as with any negotiation, trust plays a critical role. Building relationships plays a critical role … and I would hold up the partnership the NBA and its players have as the best, as far as I know, in all of sports.”

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