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Energetic Sellout Crowd In London For Knicks-Pistons Suggests NBA Has "Legs" In England
Published January 18, 2013
UNDER THE BIG TOP: The GUARDIAN’s Sean Ingle notes the game was “as much a spectacle as a contest; a giant slab of American sport transplanted into south-east London for one night only.” There were “shouts of ‘MVP MVP’” whenever Anthony sunk a basket. It was “pounding, exhilarating and relentlessly corporate.” During timeouts, fans “competed to win a pair of Adidas D Rose shoes or participated in the Foot Locker three-point contest for the chance to attend the All-Star Game in Houston” (GUARDIAN, 1/18). NBA Commissioner David Stern “claimed that the NBA ‘could not return often enough’ to their satellite base here at the O2.” In London, Oliver Brown notes the “only problem was that amid the unending din, whether from impromptu coaching clinics or Misha B’s shrill half-time show, it was often damnably difficult to tell whether there was still a basketball match taking place” (London TELEGRAPH, 1/18). NBA Deputy Commissioner & COO Adam Silver confirmed that the NBA “plans to play more preseason games next fall in Europe, including one in Manchester.” However, “no decision has yet been taken on whether London, or another city, will host another regular season contest next year.” Silver said, “In terms of the NBA and basketball, it's very encouraging what we've seen on this trip. It was encouraging when we were here at the Olympics. And with what we're seeing in the development of state of the art arenas.” Silver added, “The potential is there. It's a complex issue, as to whether the NBA should be expanding or if we should relocate franchises. Ultimately how much fans support there is. It's a long horizon in 20 years. The international opportunity is a huge one for the NBA” (ESPN.com, 1/17).