National Basketball Association (NBA) commissioner Adam Silver has confirmed that the North American league is considering taking its annual All-Star Game overseas, adding that it is more likely to be staged in Europe than in Asia.
Speaking at a news conference ahead of yesterday’s (Sunday’s) All-Star Game in Toronto, Canada – the first time the game has ever been staged outside the US – Silver said talks are ongoing regarding the future of the showpiece event.
“We’re always talking about it,” Silver said. “It’s logistically more difficult than it may seem because there’s a ripple effect in terms of the number of days we take off on the rest of the schedule.”
Silver cited concerns over travel times as a reason for favouring Europe over Asia. “If we travel overseas for All-Star … players will need additional time to adjust their sleep patterns and to get re-acclimated when they come back to the States,” he said. “So the problem is if we leave the country for All-Star, it puts pressure on the rest of the schedule.
“It’s something we’d love to do one day. It’s not going to happen in the next two, three, four years, but I think down the road it could be a really exciting element for the NBA.”
Silver added that an All-Star event in Europe would logistically be easier to organise than one in Asia. “Just to be really honest, I think getting to Asia during an All-Star break would be that much more difficult than travelling to Europe in an All-Star break,” he said.
“If we do get to the point where we believe we can experiment with playing an All-Star Game outside of the US and Canada, I think in the first instance we probably would not be looking to go to Asia.”
Next year’s All-Star Game will be held in the US city of Charlotte at the Time Warner Cable Arena, the home venue of NBA team the Charlotte Hornets.