NEW YORK – NBA President, League Operations Joel Litvin announced today that after a 27-year career in the league office, he will be stepping down, effective Sept. 1, 2015, after which he will serve as a consultant to the league.
Litvin, who assumed his current position in 2006, has been involved in all aspects of league operations during his tenure, including legal affairs, collective bargaining, salary cap administration, basketball and referee operations, league security, player development and health initiatives, and social responsibility programs. Litvin also serves as the chief liaison for the league office with various committees of the Board of Governors on a range of franchise matters including revenue sharing; team sales, relocations and expansion; and the development of the league’s ownership and debt policies.
“Joel has been central to the NBA’s operations and growth for more than a quarter of a century,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “We are deeply grateful for his exceptional efforts and accomplishments throughout his distinguished NBA career and we’ll really miss him.”
Working with owners on the NBA’s Planning Committee, Litvin led the development of each of the league’s revenue sharing plans, including the most recent, which was adopted concurrently with the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement. Litvin also oversaw the creation of the first escrow/tax system in professional sports and, as head of basketball and referee operations from 2006 to 2013, he led a significant expansion of the use of instant replay; developed a comprehensive, data-driven program for evaluating and training referees; and promoted transparency relating to game rules and their enforcement through the Video Rule Book at NBA.com.
“I worked with Joel on a daily basis for 25 years and witnessed his extraordinary contributions to the success and growth of the NBA during a pivotal time in league history,” said NBA Commissioner Emeritus David Stern. “Joel brought innovation and insight to a broad range of legal, business and basketball matters over the course of his career that established him as one of the most respected executives in the sports industry.”
“After 27 memorable years at the NBA, including assisting Adam in his highly successful transition, I’m looking to take on new challenges, while continuing to serve the NBA as a consultant,” said Litvin. “I am extremely grateful to David, Adam and the NBA owners for the opportunities they afforded me over the course of my career and to my current and former colleagues whose passion and commitment make the NBA such a special place to work. I am also incredibly fortunate to have worked for an ownership group comprising some of the most accomplished leaders in the sports industry and the business world at large.”
Litvin joined the NBA in 1988 as a staff attorney. He rose through the ranks to oversee the league’s Legal department eventually becoming Senior Vice President and General Counsel in 1999 and Executive Vice President, Legal and Business Affairs, in 2000. He was promoted to the newly created position of President, League Operations in 2006. Litvin serves on the Executive Committee and Board of Trustees of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.