Join AT&T Communications CEO John Donovan and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver as they share their insight and explore trends and innovation in sports, media and technology.
Game Changer: Technology & the Future of Sports
Sunday, June 23, 12:30 pm
Adam Silver was unanimously elected NBA Commissioner on Feb. 1, 2014, by the NBA Board of Governors.
Silver presides over a global sports and media business built around four professional sports leagues: the National Basketball Association, Women’s National Basketball Association, NBA G League and NBA 2K League. He is dedicated to growing basketball around the world, embracing innovation and new technologies, increasing transparency and using basketball to bring people together and promote health and fitness.
Silver has twice been ranked No. 1 on SportsBusiness Journal’s annual list of the 50 Most Influential People in Sports Business. He was also named to TIME’s 100 Most Influential People, Fortune’s World’s 50 Greatest Leaders, and The Bloomberg 50, Bloomberg Businessweek’s list of 50 people who defined global business. Additionally, Silver has earned Sports Executive of the Year honors at the Sports Business Awards and was named Sports Illustrated’s Executive of the Year.
Prior to becoming commissioner, Silver served as NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer for eight years. He has been instrumental to many of the league’s signature achievements, including the negotiation of three collective bargaining agreements with the National Basketball Players Association; the development of the WNBA, NBA G League and NBA 2K League; the partnership with Turner Broadcasting to manage the NBA’s digital assets; and the creation of NBA China.
Before serving as the league’s second-in-command, Silver spent more than eight years as President and COO, NBA Entertainment. Since joining the league in 1992, Silver has also held the positions of Senior VP & COO, NBA Entertainment; NBA Chief of Staff; and Special Assistant to the Commissioner.
Silver was elected to Duke University’s Board of Trustees in 2015 and received the 2016 Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Chicago Law School. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the board of the Lustgarten Pancreatic Cancer Foundation.
Before joining the NBA, Silver was a litigation associate at the New York law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore, where he concentrated on media and antitrust cases. He also served as a law clerk to Federal District Court Judge Kimba Wood in New York City. Silver graduated from Duke University and the University of Chicago Law School.
Kenny Smith is an NBA studio analyst for the Emmy Award winning show, "Inside the NBA," on TNT Sports. He joins Shaq, Charles Barkley and Ernie Johnson each week during the NBA season and throughout the playoffs to form one of the most entertaining studio shows in sports television. Kenny is also a main studio analyst for the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament on CBS Sports and Turner.
In addition to his TNT television duties, Kenny has previously hosted an NBA radio show on SiriusXM, served as the NBA expert for Yahoo Sports, a FOX Sports Net game analyst, and a game analyst for New York Knicks games on MSG.
In the spring of 2015, Kenny and his family starred in their own reality TV show on TBS called "The Smiths".
Kenny won two NBA World Championships with the Houston Rockets in 1994 and 1995. He played nine seasons in the NBA for the Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings and Atlanta Hawks. He scored a career high 41 points against the Los Angeles Lakers, while playing with Houston, on December 26, 1993. He is Houston's alltime leader in three-point field goal percentage at .407. He was named a member of the NBA All Rookie Team in 1988, after averaging 13.8 points and 7.1 assists per game with the Kings.
Kenny played his college ball at the University of North Carolina and graduated in 1987 with a degree in Industrial Relations (Economics). He holds North Carolina's assist record with 768, including 86 assists in NCAA Tournament play.
Kenny resides with his family in California.
John Donovan, CEO – AT&T Communications, is responsible for the bulk of AT&T’s global telecommunications and video services businesses, including AT&T’s Business, Entertainment, and Technology & Operations groups. AT&T Communications is a wholly-owned subsidiary of AT&T Inc.
AT&T is a global leader in telecommunications with 100 million U.S. consumer connections and millions of businesses, from the smallest companies to nearly all of the Fortune 1000. It is the largest pay-TV provider in the U.S., with more than 25 million customers. It is also one of the largest wireless providers, with more than 135 million wireless subscribers and connections. The company provides high-speed internet connections to 60 million U.S. customer locations and ultra-fast fiber connections to more than 5.5 million customer locations in 55 markets. AT&T also provides global IP network services that connect nearly 3.5 million businesses on six continents and delivers connectivity for 34 million connected devices.
Previously, Donovan served as Chief Strategy Officer and Group President – AT&T Technology and Operations. In that role, he led strategic planning for the company overall. Additionally, he led the company’s networks and technologies team, which has driven AT&T’s global leadership in the technological transition to software-defined networking – with a focus on virtualized or cloud-based network controls – as well as the company’s leadership in the move to 5G networks. In that role, he also oversaw the company’s global information, software development, supply chain, network operations, and big data organizations, as well as AT&T’s Intellectual Property group, Labs and Foundries.
Prior to that, Donovan served as AT&T’s Chief Technology Officer, overseeing the company's global technology direction and innovation road map.Since joining the company in 2008, Donovan has expanded AT&T’s innovation program and the company is now recognized as an industry leader in working with application developers and others to make AT&T’s network open to collaboration and innovation.
Donovan previously was executive vice president of product, sales, marketing and operations at VeriSign Inc., an internet infrastructure company. He also was chairman and CEO of inCode Telecom Group Inc., where he helped shape strategy for wireless carriers worldwide. He also was a partner with Deloitte Consulting, where he was the Americas telecom practice director.
Donovan serves on the Board of Directors for Palo Alto Networks. He has authored three books: The Value Enterprise, published in 1998; Value Creating Growth, published in 1999; and Building the Network of the Future: Getting Smarter, Faster, and More Flexible with a Software Centric Approach, published in 2017. Donovan received a B.S.E.E. from the University of Notre Dame and earned an M.B.A. in finance from the University of Minnesota.