NBA commissioner Adam Silver says moving away from the term "owner" makes sense -- telling TMZ Sports, "We moved away from that term years ago."
We broke the story ... multiple NBA teams (including the Clippers and 76ers) have stopped using the title owner because they feel it's racially insensitive in a league where the majority of the players are black.
When we saw Silver out in NYC, we asked if he supported the decision and how the league office is handling the issue.
"I don't want to overreact to the term because, as I said earlier, people end up twisting themselves into knots avoiding the use of the word owner," Silver said ... "But, we moved away from that term years ago in the league."
"We call our team owners 'Governor of the team' and 'alternate Governor.'"
Silver says the word owner has sometimes slipped through in an NBA memo -- but general rule in the office is to no longer use that term ... adding, "I'm sensitive to it and I think to the extent teams are moving away from the term, we'll stick with using Governor."
As for the feedback from the players, Silver says he's heard from both sides -- "Players have gone both ways. I think a few players have actually spoken out and said the greatest thing that ever happened was when Michael Jordan was able to call himself an owner."
"But, of course, Draymond Green has been very public about the fact that we should be moving away from the term ... and I completely respect that."