Basketball: New league claims are premature

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The Independent Online

Fans who are desperate for the British game to have the allure of America's multi-million dollar NBA have had their heads turned by proposals from an American consortium, who claim to be launching a new league in the UK next autumn.

The Basketball Organisation is behind plans to launch the British Basketball Association in competition to the existing British Basketball League, but proposals from chief executive Ron Scott to launch 10 new franchises in UK cities are cutting little ice with the sport's governing body.

Despite Scott's announcement that the BBA will "affiliate with England Basketball (the sport's governing body) prior to the season opener in November 2007", EB is unimpressed. "England Basketball hasn't been approached regarding affiliation and hasn't been asked to consider their proposal," said the chief executive Keith Mair. "They appear to have much work to do before they reach such a point."

Paul Blake, chairman of the BBL, said: "The BBL is moving forward with the aim of increasing to a 16-team competition in conjunction and with the support of the governing body."

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