NBA commissioner Adam Silver has hinted that the NBA could host a regular season game in Paris next year at the expense of the NBA London game.
When asked about the possibility that Paris might host a match, Silver said: “I’m told I’m not allowed to break news today, but I guess it is possible. It’s something that we’re looking very closely at. France has historically been a terrific market for the NBA, we have several players from France.”
The NBA commissioner suggested the disruption caused to players would make it hard to host two competitive NBA games in Europe when asked if the French fixture would replace or be additional to the London game.
“That is not clear yet,” he said. “It’s still a very labour-intensive undertaking to bring regular season games over to Europe, so right now we’re still thinking that the format will probably be to have one game next year but it’s something that our London office is continuing to explore.”
However Silver went on to to praise London, saying that the city had performed a useful function as a ‘hub’ for the league in Europe. He said visitors from 39 different countries travelled to this year’s game between the Washington Wizards and the New York Knicks and praised AEG, the owners and operators of the O2 stadium facility which hosts the London game.
“This particular facility, the O2 Arena, the last time I looked it was the highest-grossing arena in the world,” he said. “AEG do a fantastic job hosting major league events so that’s made it very easy for us in a very turnkey fashion to come and play these games here.
“We are looking at other markets. We recognise that Europe is a huge market but there is enormous interest in many of the other European markets that have a stronger basketball affinity than they do here in England. It’s been a marriage in part of convenience, but it’s been very successful for both parties and once again here when we announced this game and put the tickets on sale, they sold out in less than an hour.”
To watch the full Q&A with Adam Silver, click here.