The NBA has made some mystifying business moves through the years, said Ken Berger in, but the decision to have Adam Silver succeed David Stern as league commissioner “makes perfect sense.” As Stern’s “right- hand man” for two decades, Silver, 50, has “held every position imaginable” during the league’s expansion into a $4 billion business. He’s negotiated TV deals and labor talks with players, pushed the NBA into China, and overseen the league’s merchandising and digital strategy. Owners consider him a “consensus builder” and a known commodity who will build on Stern’s successes when he takes over in 2014. “He won’t rule with an iron fist, and doesn’t have to because the owners already know who he is.”

As the league’s business has grown more complex, said Henry Abbott in, Silver “has long been the executive who knows how all the pieces fit together.” He and Stern have a long history; Stern, who once worked with Silver’s father at a New York law firm, personally convinced Silver to leave his own promising law career for an NBA job. Now Silver will take on a league that is growing more global in a difficult media environment. That is “a challenge Silver is seen as uniquely qualified to handle.”