NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Friday he erred by holding a basketball clinic in Cuba this week without first consulting with the Miami Heat.
“Yes, I can confirm that they were miffed,” Silver said of the Heat’s angry reaction, which was reported by The Miami Herald earlier this month. “I have had multiple conversations with those who were miffed since the miffing took place.
“Our bad. We made a mistake. We didn’t appropriately consult the Miami Heat before agreeing with the state department to take that trip. A rookie error on my part.”
Silver made his comments at a gathering of sports editors in New York.
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The NBA scheduled the four-day clinic ‒ which features Steve Nash, Dikembe Mutombo and other former stars ‒ months after the White House’s announcement last December that it would move toward normalizing relations with Cuba for the first time in more than 50 years. The NBA is the first U.S. league to hold an event in Cuba since that announcement.
The league’s decision not to consult with the Heat angered the team because of the sensitivity of the issue in South Florida, which has a large Cuban population ‒ many of whom oppose any interaction with a Castro-led Cuba.