London calling in 2010-11

Posted by Scott Howard-Cooper

SALT LAKE CITY – Commissioner David Stern, re-affirming a previous commitment to taking a regular-season game to London before the 2012 Olympics there, has put the NBA on a realistic course to play in the new arena on the banks of the Thames as soon as 2010-11.

“We’re looking,” Stern said Monday night at EnergySolutions Arena before the Lakers and Jazz played Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals. “We have nothing hot, but it’s a subject under active consideration.”

He offered several other updates:

*The long-anticipated sale of the Nets to Mikhail Prokhorov is expected to be completed by the lottery next Tuesday in New Jersey and possibly even by the end of this week.

*Upping the ante by saying he would move from fines to suspensions for coaches and players who criticize referees, complete with a “make my day” to dare anyone to test him, has worked, the commissioner said. There have been no further problems.

“You may have noticed, the rhetoric has declined,” Stern said. “You know why that is? Not because I’m a tough guy. But because maybe some of my coaches, subject to a relapse or a slip, understand that even though it is gamesmanship to a certain point, it does impact the game that we love and that has been pretty good to everybody.”

*Nothing of substance has developed on the sale of the Warriors and no individual or group has taken the lead, but it is possible a new owner could be lined up by the June 24 draft, before final paperwork later in the summer.

“Well, it depends,” Stern clarified. “Do I think the month of May and the month of June for a signed agreement? Maybe. Not a closing, but an agreement. It’s a speedy schedule, but I would hope that it’s possible.”

*The sale of the Hornets to minority owner Gary Chouest is “not a given at all” despite reports that portray the transaction as all but done.


  1. A.S says:

    Away VS Away ?
    Wouldnt that mess the schedule up?
    Unless they give the Raptors home-court in London… haaaaa

  2. Johnny Kilroy says:

    I have lived in London for almost two years and I’m originally from Australia.

    In my humble opinion, basketball is just about non-existant in both countries!

  3. heath says:

    I live in florida I think the nba should give some of the money the players earn to people needs the money that is in financial problem right now. Don’t move the nba teams because teams will have a bad season or seasons. If players or coaches are causing problems fire them they earn enough money anyways. If you want to start a new team start one in a state that doesn’t have a team.

  4. txasslm says:

    The Commissioner would do well to remember his old boss’ (Larry O’Brien) admonition which O’Brien repeatedly gave to Congress: America first.

    Ah, yes, he will capably justify himself out of that several decades old statement. Just as his Democratic president has done with that outdated rag, the U.S. Constitution.

    You guys do know how to convert your season ticket costs to Euros, don’t you?

  5. Mystic says:

    Either Stern is in full spin-mode, or he has the logic of a 1st-grade remedial student. Three of the conference semis series were brutal sweeps, and the fourth has seen blowouts in 3 of the 5 games, with the other 2 games decided by 8 and 10 points. 30-point beatdowns don’t hinge of poor officiating, so there’s nothing for people to complain about in blowouts Mr. Dunderheaded Commish. How stupid and gullible do you think people are?

  6. Bron23 says:

    why dont we just start playing all over the world i mean what about alaska
    what a joke

  7. REC says:

    If you ain’t gonna bring the NBA to NZ, can we atleast get more ESPN channels for Sky Digital? So we can watch more than 3 games a week? lol Trust me there are ALOT of NBA fans in NZ

  8. REC says:

    Bring the NBA to New Zealand! We did a pretty good job with the under FIBA 19 worlds last year, and I think it would be good for the rising interest in basketball in NZ. C’mon Stern ! 🙂

    • REC says:

      And about the venue you could play in, the breakers home is decent, the world championships were held there, but how would a outdoor game (similar to the recent NHL games held in baseball stadiums) in the home of our national sport rugby, Eden Park. That would be awsome, a night game in Eden Park which could seat 60,000+ after the rugby world cup renovations are done. The stadium will be world class, after all we are hosting the 3rd biggest sporting event in the world next year (3rd to the Olympics and FIFA world cup).

  9. Mallory says:

    SEKOU?!?!?! You know i read the name and thought it sounded familar! But LORD, when I put a name to the face! WOW……..proud of you bro! VERY proud……..

    Um, sounds kinda fishy about not being able to hold the Refs accountable……there has gotta be more to that story.

  10. Niko says:

    I definitely agree with the push for the NBA to come to Australia, i agree with Fez, just the Jam Session & a pre-season game would reignite the interest for Basketball in Australia, its hard to be a B’ball fan in OZ. The NBL is shocking, its tough to watch, I love Australia & we have some great players but it has slowly degraded over the past 10yrs, they need more money & the NBA could be a massive help.

    I was fortunate enough to go over to the Dallas in Feb for the All Star Game & see first hand the impact an NBA event can have on a city. The Dunk comp , of all comps to see it I get to see the worst (DAMM YOU LEBRON JAMES FOR PULLING OUT AGAIN!!!.), I would have got to see the Jam Session & Rookie Game but got F*$#@ delayed due to the most snow in Dallas in 100yrs, I was forced to spend 2more days in Vegas, which almost made up for it. I also got court side seats for a reg season game in LA, the Clippers V Spurs. Even with a few negatives it was a fantastic experience The All Star Game was Insane & I got to see my favourite player D-Wade win the MVP. I’m already looking into going back to see Miami in the play-off’s once we get our A+Free Agent & take another run at a title.

    I’d love to have the NBA come to OZ to save B’ball in Australia, I understand it is a big investment for the NBA but it would make money & pay dividends down the track for the sport as a whole, Oz is a prime position in the Oceania region, the world knows Sydney & Melbourne can handle world class events (Olympics, Tennis etc.) & I’m sure the players can tough it out on the 14hr flight to Holiday in Oz for a week or 2.

    It might be a bit of wishful thinking but I’d like to see a 3/4 team Pre-season tournament with a few games played played in Sydney & Melbourne, with maybe one game in Qld. Bring down the The Bucks (Bogut), The Rockets (Anderson), The Blazers (Mills) & just for me.. The Heat. Have the Jam Session do one week in Syd & one in Melb. It would all be a sell out & the players would come away with some great experiences & a nice tan.

    This would give the game the boost it needs in this country & region..

    Pass on the word Sekou,


  11. joe says:

    Bring NBA to australia, NBA will succeed

  12. Tim F says:

    According to Orbitz, the average flight time between Boston and London is 6 hours and 21 mins:

    This is actually LESS than the average flight time between Boston and Los Angeles at 6 hours 26 mins:

    So it could be feasible if it was two East coast teams playing.

  13. Gav says:

    Basketball is dead in Australia! so we desperately need the NBA to come on down and reignite Basketballs exposure. Yeh we have great players as others have said but the NBL has made every bad decision possible to ruin the league and its exposure and the marketing team should all be shot. No media coverage no news you have too actively hunt out the info. I have no idea who won this years NBL title is it all over or are they still playing?

    • Niko says:

      Yeah, Perth beat Wollongong for the Championship about a month ago, they had the season on Fox Sports. I caught a few games, but your right. the marketing team all need a bullet. You cant buy jerseys & there is Zero advertising.

  14. Lee says:

    The refs make so many mistakes they should fined for mistakes just like a player or a coach

  15. Amos Michael says:

    NBA – goes down under … This is a great investment and will bring high levels of profit to the NBA and the NBL.

    which NBA star would not like to come to the party capital of the world to enjoy the best looking women while chillin out at the beach !!!!!


  16. Jon says:

    If the NBA wants to increase their fanbase, what’s recommended is for at least a preseason game or an exhibition game during the offseason in places where basketball is popular. For example, Bucks and another team with an Aussie player can have a game there. In London, they can bring players who like to go to England. In Africa, the Lakers (DJ Mbenga) can go to Congo with another team. In Spain, the Wolves can ask Rubio to play an exhibition game with the Blazers (Rudy Fernandez). Many possibilities are present, and it can help in making the NBA expand their franchise and increase its fanbase.

  17. ThisGuy says:

    “Howard get unfair calls in their favor because they’re good faces on T Mobile commercials etc.”

    Hahahahaha, what? Howard gets nowehere near the superstar treatment LeBron and D-Wade got. In these playoffs alone LeBron is getting more calls for him than against him than D-Wade in that horrible Finals series against Dallas. The Celtics not only have to deal with the Cavs, but if they are somehow winning and it’s late in the game, it’s time for those refs to blow the whistle on every little touch on the King and his subjects. Meanwhile, Rondo can get laid out and it’ll be “clean.”

    The refs are a joke, they let one thing go on one side of the court and on the other it’s a different story. Hope you’re please with yourself Stern. You also know if he’s at a game live, the reffing is going to be horrible and no one can say anything about it.

  18. thomas says:

    australia doesnt need the nba, they got the nbl with quality teams such as the gold coast blaze and melbourne tigers.

  19. bob says:

    It’s a great idea to have a regular game somewhere else for a change, yes we have been blessed with the NBA in North America but we should share the wealth with the rest of the world

  20. Eduardo says:


  21. Fez says:

    agree with most comments. I wasn’t actaully suggesting an official regular NBA game being in played down under. By the time the players got here 3 games could’ve been played there. I’m just saying promote it in the off season. Bring back Jam Session, have some comps, thats HOW to increase the popularity of it in OZ. Why do you think the Aussie leage (NBL) was so popular in the 90’s? because of the NBA, Jordan and the promotions. Its not because we had so much local talent. In fact nows the time to do it as there are 3-4 Aussies in the NBA… and although Aussie, I lived in London for 2 years and it was vitually impossible to get a game going. No there are NO outdoor courts, I dont know where you were Jester12, but I searched very hard to find a league…

  22. albo says:

    nba should just stay in the usa for now

  23. Rob says:

    Why do all of you guys keep saying it is only a United States games? Lots of countries love basketball………..and there is a Canadian team as well. The Raptors are not very good but there are good Canadian players in the NBA. The “National” part of the NBA is already wrong because of Canada.

  24. Greg says:

    no way!

  25. Greg says:

    no way

  26. Chris says:

    This would be a great boost to basketball in the UK, the games held at the 02 Arena have been sellouts each time and Im really struggling to find tickets for this years event. Basketball is definately an up and coming sport in the UK and basketball is set to be one of, if not the biggest event at the London 2012 olympics. The UK would appreciate much more NBA, we have been lucky to recieve ESPN on tv, but to watch NBA games live more than once a year would be amazing……Bring it to the UK!!!!

  27. niels says:

    BELGIUM!!!!! haha, , lol!

  28. Basketball Fan says:

    David Stern needs to sit down somewhere… Suspension is ridicious, if the coaches make bad decisions (who guards who, timeouts, not playing certain players on bench, etc.) they are blasted by the media and their subordinates, but if the referrees make bad calls its suppose to be ignored. Give me a break, this is gettin out of hand. David Stern needs to go oversees & never return!!!!

  29. Ted says:

    Why are the allstars always in usa Its been in LA enough times! Bring it to tornto!!!!!!!!!

  30. The Flack says:

    Im with the Aussie guys!!
    I would absolutley give anything to see a game played here…bring big names and fans will follow
    i used to live in melbourne, its classed as the sporting capital of Australia…race coackroaches and you’ll get 10,000 turn out…so id say play it in Melb, or Sydney…
    Either way, an NBA game played here would draw big crowds…weather your a fan of basketball or not, even my mum has heard of Kobe and Lebron…and i think it’d be good to show the underperforming NBL how its done in the big leagues!!!
    NBA Down Under in 2011…

  31. Liam says:

    If there will be more games in England/UK, make it more central ie Manchester or Birmingham etc. Not everyone lives in the south so is it really worth to travel 8/9 hours to London on a working day?

    • Daniel says:

      Really to England?… its like try to bring civilization to africa.. impossible.. not even for the english reporter who are not even can televise the matches… and yea of course the player get money to travel but they do have life.. and it would be cost much more money for the NBA so forget it .. Most europian people like WAY more soccer then basketball and it takes 10 hour to get london and takes an other hour to go back.. NBA should stay in the old U.S.A cause for those europian people who are going there for see a match or meet with one of them favorite player, would be a great and they will remember for it forever cause thats a great memory for them..

  32. justin m says:

    So now there is NO accountability for refs?

    Where is the acknowledgement of the poor officiating plaguing the NBA?

    Where are the threats of suspensions for refs who blatantly blow calls?

  33. TomVF says:

    It’s the NATIONAL Basketball Association, keep it that way. “I.B.A.” doesn’t make sense at all and it would lower the authentic American character of this great league that everyone admires!! Are the players going to be announced in French or in English when they come to France? French would sound ridiculous, and even in English, it would be so fake, like a commercial circus going from town to town… When I attend a NBA-game (I’m from Belgium and my first attendance has yet to come), I want it to be authentic ánd American!

    I agree active NBA-players don’t need to travel all over the world to promote basketball. A good broadcasting policy and for example summer tours of recently retired NBA-(Allstar)players (active players still deserve some rest after preseason + 82 games + playoffs) is much more effective! It would be an extra fysical pressure for players to undergo 10 hours flights and frequent jetlags. The quality of the game would suffer…
    And after all, players deserve a decent family life as well, even when they have a big salary (not given to all NBA-players!). 4-5 days road trips (not to mention trades and a very few days off) are already tough enough.

  34. Rafa Reyes says:

    What about bringing a game to the philippines? i mean the philippines loves the game of basketball and a lot of people in the philippines would die just to see a game of nba and they would do anything. i would do anything also. so maybe you could bring a game to the philippines.

  35. Tim says:

    David Stern is just getting worse and worse at hiding the influence ratings have on the game itself. We can all see that LeBron or D Wade or Howard get unfair calls in their favor because they’re good faces on T Mobile commercials etc. Now that coaches and players come out and acknowledge that a team without a big commercial name superstar has to overcome bad calls to win, Stern wants to shut them up. I’d like to think I’m some sort of conspiracy theorist but it seems hard to ignore.

  36. Jester12 says:

    @ FEZ.

    Myself having grown up in Sydney and played basketball from a young age and now having lived in London for the last 2 years I can tell you that the following of Basketball in the UK is far far greater than any following in Australia. It was a shock to me when I first came over at how many people in the UK not only followed the NBA but also played ball. There are courts everywhere in London. More than there is in Sydney. And there are also some serious players out here. Got some proper skills and athleticism.

  37. Sosay says:

    I can see doing the whole pre-season somewhere like Australia, as being cool though.

  38. Sosay says:

    While I can see Stern’s point that griping about officials undermines the game, there’s plenty to gripe about. sometimes i can’t stand watching the NBA, because its so weak now. Let’s bring it back to the old school. Let the players play…….. ESPECIALLY IN THE PLAYOFFS!!!

    I also don’t think they should play regular season games overseas. Too much travel, and not fair to season ticket-holders here in the states. No offense to those overseas, but like….. If I want to experience, let’s say……. sumo wrestling, I’m going to go to Japan, and I don’t have the mindset that they should just bring the game to my city thousands of miles away. This is part of our culture, and I encourage anyone who can to come over and enjoy. Also, they just finished up the Euro tournament over there didn’t they? Its really cheap to fly between European countries. Its a 7 hour flight from east coast, so I guess its not impossible, but Australia!!!!!!, c’mon mates that’s like a 24 hour plane ride! Plus you already have awesome surf, awesome, food, perfect weather, and RUGBY!!!!!!

  39. savana ramirez says:

    suspensions for coaches and players?are you out of your — mind?if you don’t mess up who could say you are wrong,all the time all them refs call some bull—.some thing worths to call they don’t and some thing like nothing to talk about they call.i think the comisioner need to take time out to evaluate them referees than think about punish player and coaches.

  40. Fabou says:

    you know it would be great, to have some games in london, even though i’m from germany. but you have to consider that the physical and mental effort for the players would be to high. the travels between the east and west coast is already a long flight for the coaches and players. i am a huge basketball fan, but i think even the 82 games schedule is way too much. the nba exists because of the great players it has, but someone has to think about them and their needs. If you wanna grow the popularity of the nba, arrange some more europe live tours or sell the broadcasting rights for nba games at a good price, just to start with.

  41. Andy Purkiss says:

    The whole point of bringing a regular season game to England is to raise not only the profile of the NBA (David Stern’s obvious main motivation) but also the game of basketball in England/the UK – where both the access to play and facilities are simply not as readily available as they should be. Us Brits need to be educated about basketball and who better to do this than the NBA?

    The pre-season NBA Europe Live tour is great and I attend every year but the fact is that it’s just a friendly/pre-season game and doesn’t really mean anything – we need a regular season game to make the media/press pay attention and give basketball the coverage it desperately needs in England.

    Yes, football (soccer) is and will always be the main sport in England but what’s wrong with having alternatives?… Especially those which have massive potential like basketball. I understand TJ’s point of view but I, and a lot of other Brits, would love to see a regular season game in London. Bring it to the o2 Arena and it will do wonders for basketball in Britain and for the NBA (even if the players don’t totally agree and one team will lose out what would normally be a home game)! It’s worth it.

  42. Vic says:

    The players are getting paid so it doesnt matter if they sit on planes all day going to Timbuktu. It would be nice to see the NBA everywhere but you dont have to be childish about it. London is not only known for soccer.

  43. T.J says:


  44. DJ M says:

    Bring the NBA to Australia!!!!!!!

    • Andre says:

      They have to bring some NBA to Australia, if they are going to go anywhere. We actually play basketball here and our National Basketball League is in serious trouble right now. We need to get it back to the game it once was over here in the early 90’s…

  45. Fez says:

    Agree Luke, Why doesn’t the NBA at least bring back NBA Jam Session down under?
    I used to go as a kid, in fact I once got a photo with Scott Brooks, who went from ‘just a rocket reserve’ to ‘ Coach of the year’!
    Mr Stern, bring some NBA to Australia. At least basketball is popular here, unlike London, where its just soccer.

    • JWM says:

      Who can spot the ignorant buffoon? Basketball IS popular in Britain and they could sell out the 02 three times over for this game, no problem. Just deal with it. Or go watch some Aussie Rules.

      I’m really excited about the prospect of a reg. season game here. I’d get tickets for sure. I’ve been to 2 of the 3 preseason games at the 02 and the atmosphere is superb, a sentiment backed up by the players and the NBA in general.

  46. Luke says:

    What about bringing a game to Australia? We havent had anything from the NBA and we have are starting to get some good basketballers playing in the NBA.

    Andrew Bogut, David Anderson, Patrick Mills, Nathan Jawaii.