NBA Commissioner, David Stern, has gone out of his way to annoy the majority of NBA fans who are based in Europe this week.
While NBA teams have been warming up against European teams this pre-season, and the New York Knicks are set to face the Detroit Pistons at the O2 Arena in London next year, David Stern reckons that we shouldn't get used to seeing NBA teams play in Europe because it isn't going to become commonplace any time soon.
Stern was being interviewed by the Boston Globe, when he made comments about the state of basketball in Europe and that there isn't much of an incentive to either have NBA teams play over here, or for there to be any plans to have Europe-based teams compete in the NBA.
While reasons such as the uncertainty between currencies, the lack of NBA-ready arenas and a lack of NBA-ready team owners have been cited, it has been suggested that the whole thing really boils down to the fact that there aren't as many European basketball fans who have been sufficiently brainwashed into paying extortionate amounts of money, on a regular basis, to watch a basketball game. If the fans aren't willing to pay large sums of money, then Stern can't see a reason fund the building of NBA-ready arenas, and therefore there's no real reason to start a European division of the NBA.
There had been talk of having a 5-team European division added to the NBA, and while it might be understandable that conditions aren't right at the moment, and that it might be best to put the idea on hold for a while, it actually looks like Stern is just doing a u-turn and running in the other direction.
As well as saying that European basketball fans aren't willing to shell out the same amount of cash as their American counterparts, Stern also cites the fact that Football is the dominant sport in Europe by a large margin, and so the powers that be in Europe aren't willing to spend a great deal of money to bring basketball up to a higher level in terms of support and facilities. The conclusion for Stern being that there is no way to host any part of the NBA in Europe, on a regular basis, that would be in any way profitable to the league.
So any die hard NBA fans based in Europe, grab as many opportunities as you can to see NBA teams play over here, because it's not likely to happen all that often in the future.