Basketball - Incoming boss Silver says league to keep coming back to London

The Brooklyn Nets topped the Atlanta Hawks 127-110 in the NBA's annual London match, a fixture which incoming NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says will remain on the league's calendar.

Reuters
Basketball - Incoming boss Silver says league to keep coming back to London
.

View photo

Kevin Garnett of the Brooklyn Nets and Paul Millsap (4) of the Atlanta Hawks jump for the ball at the start of their NBA basketball game at the O2 in London (Reuters)

The sport's popularity has picked up since the British capital hosted the 2012 Olympic Games, and Silver said he was keen to continue a "fantastic experience".

"We have plans in place to continue playing regular season games in London," he said before the sold-out game at London's O2 Arena.

"We're looking at other opportunities, maybe to play more games or possibly do a tournament at some point, but right now we're going to continue on the same course."

Silver, the NBA's deputy commissioner, will take over from current commissioner David Stern when he steps down on February 1, 30 years to the day since he started running the league.

Stern has built the NBA into a global brand, and Silver said he wanted to carry on that legacy and possibly expand in Europe.

"I think most likely if we were to come to Europe, it would be with a division rather than a single team for ease of logistics, and it's something we're going to continue to look at," Silver said.

NBA teams have played 13 games in the UK since 1993, all sell-outs, and in more than 100 in Europe since 1978.

In the past 10 years, the league has branched out to organise games in other basketball-hungry Mediterranean countries, but those efforts have been noticeably reined in since 2012 amid tough economic times for the euro zone.

Stern said: "The economy is booming comparatively in the UK and we're having sell-outs at good prices. I'm not sure that's possible at the current time in Greece. It's unlikely in Spain and ... Italy as well."

He added that a lack of large, modern venues in those countries that compare to London's 14-year old, 20,000-seat capacity O2 Arena was also a factor.

"The last time we played in Italy it was in (Milan's Mediolanum) Forum, and it think the Forum might almost be as old as I am, and it looks it," Stern said.

View comments (1)
  • Court releases jailed IOC executive, bans him from leaving Brazil

    Court releases jailed IOC executive, bans him from leaving Brazil

    By Rodrigo Viga Gaier RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - A Rio de Janeiro court on Monday ordered the release of the jailed former top European member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Patrick Hickey, pending further investigation into charges that he took part in a ring to illegally sell tickets. After a request by lawyers for Hickey, who was also the head of the Olympic Council of Ireland, the court said the 71-year-old Irishman could leave the maximum security prison where he has been detained since his arrest on Aug. 10. Hickey must surrender his passport within 24 hours of his release, the court said, and remain in Brazil until the investigation into the alleged ticket scheme is completed. More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 53 minutes ago
  • Ill Irish IOC official Hickey conditionally released

    Ill Irish IOC official Hickey conditionally released

    A Brazilian court granted conditional release from jail Monday to top Irish Olympic official Patrick Hickey due to ill health while he is investigated over an alleged ticket scam. More »

    AFP - 2 hours 3 minutes ago
  • Kerber cruises in opening win in pursuit of top ranking

    Kerber cruises in opening win in pursuit of top ranking

    By Larry Fine NEW YORK (Reuters) - Second seed Angelique Kerber, one of four women's players who could emerge from Flushing Meadows as world number one, made a short and sweet start at the U.S. Open on a hot, sunny Monday. World number two Kerber powered through her first set in 27 minutes before logging a 6-0 1-0 victory when 120th-ranked Polona Hercog of Slovenia retired because of leg cramps. Kerber, who came within one match win eight days ago in Cincinnati from leapfrogging Serena Williams into the world number one spot, did not lose a point on serve in the opening set and dropped only nine points in the one-sided contest. More »

    Reuters - 2 hours 3 minutes ago
  • US Open - Kerber: Knocking Serena off top spot is everyone's goal - especially mine

    US Open - Kerber: Knocking Serena off top spot is everyone's goal - especially mine

    Second seed Angelique Kerber is one of four women's players who could emerge from Flushing Meadows as world number one. More »

    Eurosport - 2 hours 7 minutes ago
  • Tennis-Kerber cruises in opening win in pursuit of top ranking

    By Larry Fine NEW YORK, Aug 29 (Reuters) - Second seed Angelique Kerber, one of four women's players who could emerge from Flushing Meadows as world number one, made a short and sweet start at the U.S. Open on a hot, sunny Monday. World number two Kerber powered through her first set in 27 minutes before logging a 6-0 1-0 victory when 120th-ranked Polona Hercog of Slovenia retired because of leg cramps. Kerber, who came within one match win eight days ago in Cincinnati from leapfrogging Serena Williams into the world number one spot, did not lose a point on serve in the opening set and dropped only nine points in the one-sided contest. More »

    Reuters - 2 hours 7 minutes ago