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League Across Continents?

Recently David Stern of the NBA was enthusiastically discussing the merits of European expansion in the NBA. All I can say is WOW! In fact, this year the Raptors will be playing 2 league games in London (not Ontario – but I doubt if many NBAers know the difference). Now to me having 2 North American based NBA teams playing in Europe may be somewhat feasible, but to expect a team to fly for 5 hours to play league games is a bit ridiculous. Traveling across 3 time zones from Toronto to L.A. is bad enough – Let alone from L.A. to London, England.

My only hope is that other professional sports don’t get this bright idea. Over the years NFL teams have played regular season games overseas and some big soccer teams from Europe have played pre-season games over here. I have no problem with this simply because both teams have come from abroad to showcase the product – as opposed to NA based teams playing against European teams or other teams from other continents for points. Think of how complicated it could become when you consider the economical effects – not to mention the immigration issues that may arise if this were a regular thing.

Ya sure you are expanding your audience but you are also cheapening the product.

Categories: Basketball, Football, Hockey, Soccer
  1. November 3, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    I really don’t think it’ll happen. I mean, sure, if the NBA can do it, other sports may think the same…
    This involves a lot of planning and financial commitment.

  2. smoodguru
    November 3, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    Waste of time and money. Continue to have exhibition games abroad and gain publicity that way and once the game grows to become more universal then you could consider it. I will compare this idea with Soccer as right now the most globally excepted sport is soccer. And even in soccer you dont have a global league where the best club teams compete on a weekly basis. The closest thing we have is the Champions league but even that is continental and not necessarily a league per se. Even so the European teams are international all star teams with players from every country. Inter Milan, the reigning European champions, I dont think have a starting guy from Italy, maybe not even on the bench? The soccer teams from other non-european countries are so inferior in terms of talent, fan support and money, that it would never be competitive enough for a global league to take place. NBA like Soccer is the same, all the best players want to play in the best league which pays the best money and provide the best competition – The NBA. Brazil which provides many of the top soccer players in the world have all their best players playing in Europe, why because the best teams and the most money is in Europe. I mean we can’t even get NBA players to come to Canada to play, what do you think will happen when John Wall gets drafted by FC Barcelona? For Non-American soccer player to go to Europe and play its not to bad. Culturally they are more open to other cultures and Europe is pretty much the same country all over, now the borders have opened up, so the culture shock is minimal. US people don’t so much like anything non-american so this would be a more drastic culture shock for these players. Its a great vision as in todays global economy, everything is branded and geared to reap the financial benefits that can be attained. However expansion usually means watering down the existing product and European expansion seems like a distant dream right now which seems to be motivated mainly by monetary gain and not improvement of the quality of the game.

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