NBA

Stern predicts NBA will be in Europe

Share This Story

   
 

MIAMI (AP)

The travel plans for NBA teams could be a bit more extensive a decade from now.

NBA Commissioner David Stern told a luncheon audience in Miami on Friday that he envisions a five-team European division within the league sometime in the next 10 years.

It's not a new notion, but Stern's words nonetheless represented a strong stance that the NBA is more committed than ever to expansion and further globalizing the game.

''It's a wonderful topic, because 10 years ago, I said, 'Oh, it's inevitable, it'll happen in 10 years,''' Stern said, speaking to business leaders. ''And now what I'm saying is, 'It's inevitable, it'll happen in 10 years.' But in terms of globalization, we're going to see a desire for franchises in Europe — and in about 10 years, you'll send me a postcard.''

Stern also recently said the NBA plans a regular-season game in London sometime before the city hosts the 2012 Olympics. He was in town to attend the Miami Heat home opener against the Orlando Magic, the first real game in South Florida for LeBron James and Chris Bosh as Dwyane Wade's teammates.

The talk of European growth comes at a somewhat awkward time, with some in the league fearing that contracting current clubs could be an option as the NBA and players' association continues trying to bridge a wide gap in collective bargaining talks. Just last week, Stern suggested on a conference call with reporters that contraction may be on the table, but said he won't spend ''a lot of time on it.''

''I think we'll have a division, and I think the Heat will play in Boston one night, and then they'll go to Paris and spend a couple days on the Champs-Elysses shopping and relaxing,'' Stern said. ''And then they'll go and play five teams. And when they finish that, they'll play them again. Then they'll come home, having had a nice trip to Europe and they'll be finished with their European obligations.''

Orlando backup center Marcin Gortat, a native of Poland, didn't seem overjoyed about the idea.

Gortat said players wouldn't want to deal with the travel, that Stern wants to ''control the whole world'' and that expanding to Europe could hurt the NBA's standing as ''the best league on earth.''

''That's impossible. In my opinion, that's impossible,'' Gortat said of the notion. ''That's just too much travel. I would just want it just to stay the way it is right now. And if we have to, just maybe expand from Canada.''

Heat or 3peat

East vs. West

The Lakers may be eliminated, but the Heat are still shooting for the NBA Finals. Visit Heat or 3peat Central

Among the other comments by the commissioner:

• With regard to ongoing collective bargaining talks, Stern reiterated he is not pessimistic about business prospects.

''What we have is the extraordinary ability to increase our revenues, except we're currently locked into a system that pays 57 percent of those revenues to the players,'' he said. ''And given the additional expenses it now takes to raise those revenues ... we actually wind up losing a little money. A little, like a few hundred million dollars amongst friends here at lunch.''

Stern told the luncheon audience that everyone involved knows what's at stake and that ''just about everything'' is on the table.

''We think it's getting to be about that time where we have to get serious,'' he said. ''And I hope we can get serious, because we realize that the game is going along quite well. Anticipation is great. There's some other teams in the league besides the Heat that think they have a shot. ... This is going to be a great season, and we would like it not to end with a thud.''

• Stern lauded Wade for picking up the league's community service award for the offseason, noting his work with children in both Miami and Chicago.

''I often say that community relations and public relations are side-by-side, but public relations relates to how people think about you. Community relations really is about how people feel about you,'' Stern said. ''I know the Heat feels great about Miami and I know that Miami feels great about the Heat.''

Tagged: Heat, Magic, Marcin Gortat

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


NBA Videos

NBA considering mid-season Vegas tournament? Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Adam Silver confirms the NBA has engaged in early conversations about the possib...

LeBron and Blatt 'will work together beautifully' Posted: Jul 14, 2014
Cavaliers head coach David Blatt on LeBron James' decision to return to Clevelan...

LeBron's back and so are the Cavs Posted: Jul 11, 2014
FOX Sports 1's Gary Payton weighs-in on LeBron's decision to return to Cleveland...

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Clippers/browse/featuredproduct/491845/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_491000/ff_491845_xl.jpg&w=100 59.95 adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red
    adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/498609/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_498000/ff_498609_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black
    adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Knicks/browse/featuredproduct/620470/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_620000/ff_620470_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey..
    Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Antonio_Spurs/browse/featuredproduct/692239/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_692000/ff_692239_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat
    Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Lakers/browse/featuredproduct/851828/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851828_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black
    Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/851842/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851842_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White
    adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/890174/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890174_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Wh..
    adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room Flex Hat - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/890384/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890384_xl.jpg&w=100 19.99 adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room F..