Kenny Smith Wants a European Expansion

by October 16, 2007

by Marcel Mutoni

When Steve Kerr left the online behemoth that is Yahoo! Sports this summer to take the GM job in Phoenix, Yahoo! execs needed a high-profile columnist to take his place. They managed to snag themselves a pretty big name, TNT‘s very own Kenny Smith.

Smith, a former SLAM contributor, has come out swinging. In his latest piece, he proposes a pretty radical idea: The Euro Division. It’s a brave new world:

Do I think it’s possible? Yes. There are a lot of variables, but if planned correctly, European expansion could and should happen.

The solution is simple: add approximately six new franchises at once.

They would make up the new Euro Division, with teams based in Italy, Spain, France, England and Greece. Clubs from North America would have to spend two weeks of the regular season in Europe before the All-Star game and again after the All-Star game. To further accommodate this expansion across the Atlantic Ocean, the NBA would have to shorten the schedule to 70 games. (I feel it’s worth shortening the season to add the global market to the league!)

Obviously, this has absolutely no chance of happening — I can’t imagine that NBA team owners would be too pleased with Smith’s idea to shave twelve games off the regular season schedule; the revenue that those games would have brought in isn’t going to grow on trees, Kenny.

The logistics of this thing are, of course, nightmarish, but David Stern and company have made it clear that the League is a big fan of globalization. Smith’s idea might not necessarily pan out, but we’ve arrived at a point where you have to at least take it seriously.