Adam Silver Comments on Possibility of NBA Adding Team in Europe

Alec NathanFeatured ColumnistJanuary 14, 2016

Commissioner of the NBA Adam Silver speaks to the media ahead of a regular season basketball game between Orlando Magic and Toronto Raptors at the O2 arena in London, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Alastair Grant/Associated Press

Adam Silver has been a proponent of expanding the NBA's global presence since taking over as commissioner in 2014, but an expansion team isn't likely to form across the pond anytime soon. 

Speaking to reporters prior to Thursday's clash between the Orlando Magic and Toronto Raptors in London, Silver pumped the brakes on the NBA pursuing a franchise in Europe, according to Yahoo Sports' Marc Spears: 

Silver also touched on the topic in October when Real Madrid hosted the Boston Celtics for an exhibition contest and said it was "premature" to discuss the possibility of an expansion team cropping up in Europe, according to the Associated Press (via

And while commissioner added expansion is unlikely "in the very near future" he didn't shut the door on the possibility entirely, adding it "could happen one day."

It's also worth noting Silver discussed a potential midseason tournament modeled after European soccer when speaking exclusively with Bleacher Report's Howard Beck in October 2014: 

Thursday's meeting with reporters also prompted Silver to discuss where the NBA and NBA Players Association stand with a potential lockout looming, per Spears: 

As far as expansion goes, it's difficult to envision the NBA committing resources to developing a new franchise abroad when the stateside product is just now starting to evolve under Silver's leadership. 

For the time being, preseason and regular season appearances in international locales figure to remain a staple of the league's approach to expanding the brand overseas. London and Mexico City have both emerged as destinations for regular season games over the past few years, and the NBA's recent preseason appearance in Africa also bodes well for the game's growth.