MADRID, Spain (AP) -David Stern is confident that Europe is ready to host a regular-season NBA game.
The NBA commissioner, who watched the Boston Celtics beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 92-81 in a preseason game at London's O2 Arena, said Thursday that the British capital would be the best place to start.
``Their are only a handful of arenas that could undertake it and I think that London leads that list,'' Stern said ahead of a doubleheader featuring the Memphis Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors against Spanish league teams.
Finances, including TV rights and gate receipts, are the biggest drawback, but Stern was confident the 18,500-capacity O2 Arena could offset such concerns. The London facility, which was sold out for Wednesday's game, also hosted sellout opening games of the NHL's regular season.
On Thursday, Memphis will play Estudiantes, and Toronto faces Spanish champion Real Madrid in front of a capacity crowd of 14,500 at the Palacio de Deportes.
``In the past, our teams didn't want to play Euro league teams because they didn't feel it was adequate practice. That has changed,'' Stern said. ``The quality of basketball in the NBA continues to improve but the quality of basketball in the rest of the world is improving at a tremendous rate.''
The NBA is also looking to play preseason games in Latin America, with Argentina and Brazil at the top of the list.
Stern said no intercontinental club tournaments - with the NBA's best teams playing European opponents - was in the plans.

Top NBA Public Bets

#1 509 Boston Celtics  79%
#2 505 San Antonio Spurs  72%
#3 512 Atlanta Hawks  69%
#4 508 Utah Jazz  62%
#5 501 Toronto Raptors  53%

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Raptors vs. Bucks Game 6 Pick Can the Toronto Raptors close out the Milwaukee Bucks when the two meet in Game 6 of their NBA Playoffs series today at 7PM...
Thumbnail Bulls vs. Celtics Game 5 Pick Will the Boston Celtics stay hot when their NBA Playoff series with the Chicago Bulls returns home tonight for Game 5 at 8:30PM...
Thumbnail Hawks vs. Wizards Game 5 Pick Who has the edge when the Washington Wizards host the Atlanta Hawks meet up tonight at 6PM ET in Game 5 of...
Thumbnail Jazz vs. Clippers Game 5 Pick Will the Los Angeles Clippers be able to regroup at home when they host the Utah Jazz in Game 5 of their...
Thumbnail Grizzlies vs. Spurs Game 5 Pick Can the San Antonio Spurs find a way to get back on track when they take on the Memphis Grizzlies tonight at 9PM ET in Game...

NBA Team Pages