Stern Counts NBA's Globalization Among Chief Accomplishments During Tenure
NBA Commissioner David Stern said that the globalization of basketball is on his "short-list of accomplishments for which he is most proud," according to Sam Amick of USA TODAY. Stern admits that he "wasn't sure how far the NBA's reach could go when he first started this global mission." But the NBA, "without question, has made its mark worldwide." After eight preseason games and two regular-season games are "played in 10 cities and seven countries and territories" in the '13-14 campaign, the NBA "will have hosted 148 international games in all while having two regular season games in two different countries" outside the U.S. and Canada for the first time. First-time preseason games are "being played in the Philippines and Brazil, and the cities of Manchester, UK, and Bilbao, Spain." The NBA's social media following is "enormous, with more than 445 million likes and followers worldwide on Twitter and Facebook, respectively, for league, teams and players." Stern said of the notion that the growth of international games might lead to the day when NBA teams are housed in Europe or beyond, "I don't know the answer (to that question), but we're beginning to take the steps. ... At some distant point in the future, it may result in serious consideration of (more international) franchises, but that's better for talking than for doing at this point. But I do think it will lead to discussions with various groups in Asia about NBA-sponsored or NBA branded competitions in the like as this incredible population mass and growth looks for opportunities to associate with our game" (USA TODAY, 10/2).