As the NBA All-Star game is coming closer and the discussions about the goal of such an event emerging again, I found two news today that are really more interesting in my opinion.
The first one was a report on SI.com about a possible expansion of the NBA to Europe. Once again, David Stern may come up with a Europe Division including 5 teams which would be most likely located in London, Berlin, Rome and Madrid. A fifth city is not yet defined as the criteria is essentially on the presence of a NBA like arena.
This new division should emerge within the next decade (that’s precise as time zone) and this should become official after the annual meeting of the NBA with European executives during the All-Star weekend. With the announcement of such a Europe division, it will probably be a huge boost for the selected cities in terms of marketing basketball as the fans of NBA basketball are still mostly ignoring the Euroleague. However, the question raised by the author of the report is legit. Will the average NBA fan buy a 41 game season ticket or just concentrate on a few games at most?
What was the way more interesting announcement in my eyes was a report from a Japanese website, the Daily Yomiuri Online. I don’t know how reliable this source is but they announce a FIBA World Club Championship. When you read the article, it looks like this event is really close to being realized. The tournament would include 14 teams: the top four clubs each from Europe and the Americas, and the top two teams from Africa, Asia and Oceania, respectively. And the winner of this tournament will play the NBA Champion in order to determine the best Club team of the world.
What looks amazing as an idea will of course absolutely depend on the schedule of the tournament and the date when it is played. Having such an event in September would be of no use, but like having it somewhere close to the NBA Finals would be huge but probably interfere too much with the National team schedules. So FIBA officials would still have to iron out details of the tournament such as coordinating the scheduling with the NBA is then also the conclusion of the article on the Japanese website. Let’s hope they find a good deal there and we will probably then know a bit more after the NBA All-Star break.