Wednesday, October 7th, 2009 at 10:00 am  |  17 responses

David Stern on Real Games in London

The Commissioner doesn’t sound too confident about it happening anytime soon, if ever: “However, the world’s most popular basketball league has yet to play a regular-season game in Europe, as has been done by American football. ‘We feel no great sense of urgency, each time we come here it is a sell-out, the exposure increases each year,’ says David Stern, the dapper 67-year-old commissioner of the NBA. ‘We’d like to schedule a fixture before the London Olympics, but it if doesn’t happen it doesn’t happen.”‘

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  • Ken

    I was surprised by how non-plussed and laid back he was about it. I always thought he was Mr. Globalize-the-NBA.

  • sixersforlife_85

    Any chance if it does happen that you could tell the teams that are playing to actually play their respective stars if the game is within 2 points with 5 mins to go in the 4th Quarter? Instead of having to watch Lindsey Hunter shuffle along please? I know you don’t want your stars to get hurt Utah and Chicago, but do it for the fans.

  • riggs


  • larsylad

    Sounds like negotioations are under way, at some level. Virtually the same things have been said regarding the refs new deal. …”we’d love for it to happen, but if not then so be it, we’re big and we hold the steering-wheel” kinda-deal.

    It’ll happen before the Olympics.

  • sixersforlife_85

    P.s – Chicago playing Chris Richard for nearly the entire 4th quarter is also not acceptable. That is all Dapper Stern.

  • silverselectjd

    To be fair when Celtics vs. Wolves was played in London a couple of years ago KG, Ray-ray and P-Dub played some decent minutes. It just sucked that John Ameachi was deemed as the best color commentator available to the british audience.
    It’s amazing how full of himself he is and how his breakdown of stats, plays and other US “terminology” is wrong as if he’s thinking “the brits don’t know better”

  • sixersforlife_85

    ^He’s still better than that guy they had last night. I mean the guy decided that every player in a bulls jersey is named James Johnson. Thats the only name he could remember other than Chris Richard who on one play he mistook Paul Milsap for. Despite playing on different teams. I say bring back John!

  • andy

    yeah the BBC 5 Live commentary was pretty dreadful. i suppose the interminable interviews with minor celebs were a necessary evil if they managed to ‘sell’ the game to a few more casual fans, but to have a football/soccer guy doing the play-by-play? ridiculous! he was way out of his depth. the mute button is my new best friend :-)

  • http://www.basketball247.co.uk Greg Tanner

    Hang on…I was at this same press conference, and Stern said:

    “We hope to do it [play a regular season game in London before 2012]. We’re running out of runway, but we will likely do it.”

    That seems to be completely at odds with this report??

  • NUPE

    Football has a week between games and players still complain about Jet lag of playing in europe then trying to get back in form for a U.S. game. Seems much harder to fit into a NBA schedule. Both teams have similar ‘issues’ playing there with jet lag etc, however when they get back to the U.S. and have to play teams that have only done a regular travel schedule, they would be at a disadvantage. I guess you could schedule teams with a 3-4 day break upon return the the U.S., but I bet players will complain.

  • sab

    yawn at your excuses. wtf is the difference between Boston and Washington playing in LA or playing in London? they fly different directions! and that’s ALL

  • James

    I live over in the UK and I can say it’s been reported differently over here. On the BBC website it has the intro of:

    The NBA could play regular-season games in London from as early as next season

    With Stern saying:

    “Who knows? We have not set the schedule yet for 2010 so we’ll see.”

    Confused? I am…

  • Josh D

    Co sign James and Greg, the media r saying it completely different over here, could b Americans trying to b negative about the game in gb, but still

  • rav

    If (and its a big if) they decide to do such a thing they should really do 2 games back to back (esp with the ticket prices they are charging – £40 two years ago when I last went for lower level corner seats were £70 this year, and unlike last time when my mate saw people from the liverpool/manchester hoops scene that he knows of whereas this time those seats were filled with suits browsin on their blackberries, but that’s another issue) on a weekend at a time convenient for the US fans to watch it on tv (6pm uk start is 11amPT/1pmET) and over the course of the season each team plays 2 additional ‘out of market’ games (in addition to the existing schedule (expand the season by a week to accomodate this)) where they play in north american cities/european nations/asian nations etc so the non-US fans get to see meaningful games and stern makes a nice bit of cash as part of his globalization project

  • Tong Po

    interested much

  • feelinit

    im sure nba games in american cities that dont have teams would sellout

  • NUPE

    everytime you take a game out of a city with a team, that city looses a lot of revenue (gas, resturaunts, hotels, tourist etc) that only come from playing a game in that city. do these cities get some kind of additional revenue from taking home games away from them? i get what stern is trying to do by globalizing the game, i’m just not sure how much more global you can get it by playing games in europe where they already have baskeball leagues. imo, to make the nba more of a global market, they should look to south america or africa.