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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Who is Mark Tatum? NBA’s deputy commissioner will present Larry O’Brien Trophy if Warriors win Game 6

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The Warriors are one win away from their fourth title of the Stephen Curry-Draymond Green-Klay Thompson era. If they get to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy after Game 6 of the NBA Finals, they’ll receive it from an unfamiliar face.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum will present the championship trophy to Golden State if it wins Thursday night. NBA commissioner Adam Silver won’t be attending the game in Boston after being placed in the league’s health and safety protocols.

Tatum is a vital part of the NBA operation. With Silver out, he may have to take on one of sport’s biggest responsibilities: crowning a league champion.

MORE: NBA Draft 2022 dates, start time, pick order, mock draft

Here’s everything you need to know about Mark Tatum:

Who is Mark Tatum?

Tatum is the NBA’s deputy commissioner and chief operating officer, positions he has held since 2014. He has worked at the NBA since 1999. He heads a number of key departments, according to his official NBA bio, including global partnerships, marketing, communications, events, global strategy and innovation, and team marketing and business operations. He also oversees the G League.

He led the league’s push to have corporate sponsors advertise on team jerseys, helped to foster a partnership between Gatorade and the G League, and established a partnership with Nike where the sports apparel megabrand is now the exclusive on-court manufacturer for the NBA, WNBA and G League.

The Cornell University graduate (with an MBA from Harvard) also plays a key role during NBA Draft season. He hosts the annual draft lottery, and he announces the second-round selections on draft night, helping to welcome the next crop of NBA hopefuls to the league.

Why is Adam Silver not attending Game 6?

Silver entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols prior to Game 5. He called the timing “lousy,” according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. He was not cleared to resume his duties ahead of Game 6.

The league did not specify whether Silver tested positive for COVID-19 or if he was in close contact with someone who tested positive. It’s also uncertain whether Silver will be able to attend Game 7 on Sunday in San Francisco if the Celtics win Game 6.


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