When it comes to holding firm on tough calls, the National Basketball Association’s new commissioner, Adam Silver, made a name for himself long before he stood up to Donald Sterling, the controversial co-owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Those who have worked with Silver and knew his late father, Edward Silver, a respected New York labor attorney, say the 52-year-old sports executive is a tough, effective negotiator like his father, and developed that reputation from the earliest days of his career.

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