His predecessor David Stern publicly butted heads with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, but new NBA commissioner Adam Silver says that Cuban is good for the league.

"There has been some public stuff around the edges between Mark and the league, but Mark's input has been hugely beneficial to the league in so many areas the public will never hear about."

In his 14 seasons as owner, Cuban was famously fined $2 million by Stern, mostly for his criticism of referees.

After his last fine, two weeks before Stern retired, Cuban wrote on his Twitter feed: "I couldn't let the commissioner go without a proper farewell. It's been a fun 14 years of trying to create change and donating to the doughnut fund!"

Silver said Cuban, who is part owner of AXS TV and made his money by selling his Broadcast.com, made strong suggestions on how the league should deal with its digital assets as well as helped the league with its marketing initiatives.
"Mark epitomizes the new generation of owner who is all-in to his franchise and is involved in every aspect of the team," Silver said. "It's not necessary that that be the model for others, but we welcome it. While you won't hear this from many owners directly, Mark has attracted many of the new generation owners to the league."

When told of Silver's comments, Cuban replied by e-mail: "I like Adam :)"

Silver said that Cuban was one of the first true owner-fans who was 100 percent invested in his team. Due to Cuban, fans now match up their owner's passion against the renegade billionaire.

"I think now there's a recognition by the owners that fans are counting in them to be even more passionate than they are," Silver said. "Fans want to know that their owner is losing sleep over the fortune if the team and the owners understand that its a social contract of sorts."

Silver recently formed a seven-owner committee, which doesn't happen to include Cuban, to work with the league on its new media deal. The current 8-year, $7.5 billion deal with ESPN and Turner expires at the end of the 2015-16 season. The committee consists of Clay Bennett (Oklahoma City Thunder), James Dolan (New York Knicks), Ted Leonsis (Washington Wizards), Wyc Grousbeck (Boston Celtics), Peter Holt (San Antonio Spurs), Greg Miller (Utah Jazz) and Michael Reinsdorf (Chicago Bulls).

The move shows the league's willingness to get owners more involved, which Silver says is a no brainer.