National Basketball Association commissioner David Stern believes that twenty years from now there will be more than one European team in the NBA.
“I think multiple NBA international teams,” Stern said on the ESPN radio show SVP and Russillo Thursday. “Twenty years from now? For sure. In Europe. No place else. In other places I think you’ll see the NBA name on leagues and other places with marketing and basketball support, but not part of the NBA as we now know it.”
This is not the first time Stern has discussed the possibility of European expansion.
At a Beyond Sport United function in November Stern mentioned that he sees there being a European division one day in the NBA.
“I think for us the thing that would make the most sense would be a division in Europe at the time that it comes,” Stern said.
Exhibition games have been held in Europe in recent years as part of the NBA Europe Live Tour, which brings NBA teams to play games against Euroleague and Eurocup teams in the off-season.
The tour has hosted games in England, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Germany and France.
If and when there are NBA teams in Europe, Stern won’t be commissioner when it happens, as the 70-year-old New York native announced in October that he will be stepping down from his post on Feb. 1, 2014, marking exactly 30 years as NBA commissioner.