Adam Silver Discusses Possibility of Having NBA Franchises in Europe

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 15, 2015

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The NBA will take another step toward growing its global popularity Thursday when the Milwaukee Bucks face the New York Knicks in London, but Commissioner Adam Silver has much grander plans for the future.

According to Owen Gibson of The Guardian, Silver is a proponent of European expansion. While Silver admits that doing so would be tougher for the NBA than the NFL, he believes it can be done if the league ultimately puts four teams in Europe rather than just one:

It will be easier logistically for them [the NFL] to pull it off. It would be difficult for us to have one team in Europe. We'd have to put both feet down. That would mean having four franchises in Europe. ... We're not there yet. I know that as much growth as we've seen, we have a long way to go before we can sustain four franchises in Europe. On the other hand, I believe it's our manifest destiny to expand.

Michael McCann of Sports Illustrated weighs in on the impact of the NBA's desire to expand to Europe:

European expansion has been a hot-button issue in several major American sports leagues. There are obvious advantages involved since it would help grow the game, but the challenges are immense as well.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 14: Brandon Knight, Head Coach Jason Kidd and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks poses for a photo as part of the 2015 Global Games on January 14, 2015 at The Tower Bridge in London, England. NOTE TO USER: User expressl
Gary Dineen/Getty Images

Silver's logic seems to be that putting several teams in Europe would help with the potential travel issues. At the same time, that would be a huge undertaking for the league.

If his comments are any indication, he seems quite serious about exploring the viability of it.

Silver appears to believe that it is the NBA's duty to grow the game of basketball globally, and it will be interesting to see if this initiative picks up steam in the upcoming years.

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