Arguably the biggest trend in the NBA in recent years has been the league’s rapid globalization.
Never before has the league seen more international talent spread across so many different teams and never have team executives, coaches, players, the media and fans been so acutely aware of the great basketball talent around the globe.
Does that mean it’s time for the NBA to consider truly going global through expansion?
According to a report from The Guardian, Real Madrid soccer and basketball team president Florentino Perez will meet with NBA commissioner Adam Silver and make an offer to have his team join the NBA.
Real Madrid will take on the Boston Celtics in an exhibition game on Oct. 8 in Madrid, Spain as part of the NBA’s Global Games initiative.
This is not the first time international expansion has been a talking point for the NBA. Just two years ago, former commissioner David Stern predicted there would be European NBA teams in 20 years time.
“I think so. I think multiple NBA international teams. Twenty years from now? For sure in Europe,” Stern said on a radio interview. “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.”
Stern made a strong point about the relative strength of Europe compared the rest of the world. In terms of talent and coaching ability, only Euroleague can compare to the NBA and Real Madrid, this past season’s Euroleague champion, would be a worthy addition to the NBA if they were to ever be brought into the fold.