Gary Bettman left the NBA front office - where he'd served mostly in a legal and marketing capacity for 11 years - to become the NHL's commissioner in 1992, the same year a young lawyer named Adam Silver joined the NBA's front office as special assistant to commissioner David Stern.
Though their paths never crossed as NBA executives, Bettman had nothing but praise for the way Silver handled the Donald Sterling controversy that rocked the NBA over the past couple of weeks. Speaking with reporters on Monday night in Anaheim, Bettman lavished praise on Silver's decisive steps to suspend, fine, and begin the process to remove Sterling as owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.
"Commissioner Silver stepped up and did what he had to do under the circumstances," Bettman told reporters, per Jill Painter Lopez of the L.A. Daily News. "Those sentiments that were expressed by Mr. Sterling have no place - not just in the NBA, or in sports - but in this world."
The NHL recently dealt with a racism controversy of its own when a handful of Boston Bruins fans targeted Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban with racial abuse on twitter, after Subban scored an overtime winner against the Bruins this past Thursday.
"We are about diversity and inclusiveness," Bettman said of the Subban incident this past weekend, per the Canadian Press. "We condemn bias and hatred. It has no place in our game and it's not acceptable."