Given the state of airline technology, the NBA has no plans to expand to Europe at the moment, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in an exclusive interview with Sam Amick of USA Today.
“We can play games in China and Europe, or occasional preseason games as a one-off, but under existing airline technology, the planes aren’t fast enough to at least play in the current frame work of our regular season,” Silver told USA Today. “(But) it may be something we’ll be looking at over the coming years, is what a regular season schedule look like a decade from now.”
Silver later hinted that perhaps the league will take a look at its current 82-game schedule.
“There’s nothing magical about 82 games,” Silver told USA Today. “It’s been in place for 50 years, but for the long-term planning of the league, as we learn more about the human body and the wear and tear of travel and the competitive landscape … invariably we’ll look at the regular season. And in looking at the regular season, it may create more opportunities for international franchises.”
As for possible expansion, Silver said the league may look south.
“We’re not looking at expansion at the moment, but at the time we do turn to expansion, just as we’ve had enormous success in Canada with the (Toronto) Raptors, we do see enormous opportunity in Mexico City and think it could become the franchise for Latin America,” he said.