NBA All Star 2016: Adam Silver believes London could host glamour event in future

NBA commissioner sees European future

NBA Mascots at the NBA All Star weekend in Toronto
NBA Mascots at the NBA All Star weekend in Toronto

British basketball fans could see the best NBA players on the planet on their shores in the future as the league considers staging it's glamorous All-Star Weekend outside of North America.

The 2016 All-Star Game in Toronto this weekend marks the first time the contest has been held outside of the United States in it's 65-year history.

And NBA commissioner Adam Silver admitted that the league are already looking at "crossing an ocean" for their prestigious event with Europe being the preferred location.

"I think it's an important moment for this league," Silver said. "We haven't crossed an ocean yet to play an All-Star Game, but who knows what the future holds for the NBA. These festivities are televised in 215 countries and territories, and that just demonstrates how truly global this league is."

London has played host to six regular-season games since 2011, most recently on January 14 when the Toronto Raptors took on the Orlando Magic at the O2 Arena.

Silver admitted, though, that the logistics hurdle in bringing the All-Star Weekend across the Atlantic would need to be cleared given the compact nature of the NBA schedule.

He said: "It's logistically more difficult than it may seem because there's a ripple effect in terms of the number of days we take off on the rest of the schedule.

"Right now we play an 82-game schedule in roughly 162 days. When we added the additional time off for All-Star, that took days off. If we travel overseas for All-Star, given our experience with games in Europe, players will need additional time to readjust their sleep patterns and to get re-acclimated when they come back to the States.

"The problem is if we leave the country for All-Star, it puts pressure on the rest of the schedule. It's not going to happen in the next three or four years, but I think down the road it could be a really exciting element for the NBA."

Silver added: "Getting to Asia during an All-Star break would be that much more difficult than travelling to Europe in an All-Star break. If we do get to the point where we believe we can experiment with playing an All-Star Game outside of the US and Canada, I think in the first instance we probably would not be looking to go to Asia due to the number of additional miles we would have to travel."

Other than the London game between the Raptors and Magic, the only other regular-season contest played outside of the United States and Canada this season was in Mexico City in December when the Sacramento Kings took on the Boston Celtics.

The NBA commissioner is keen to add to the global regular-season schedule, though, with nearby Mexico being the focus.

"It's something we continue to look at but we just want to be very careful on how we approach it," he said. "I certainly think it's worked very effectively to play regular-season games in London, building some time off for the players once they return. I think our pre-season schedule has worked out very well in Asia and Europe.

"Mexico City is a market that we're particularly focused on because it does not require crossing time zones in order to play and the flight to Mexico City is not that much different than going to a lot of NBA cities."

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