LONDON (AP) -NBA commissioner David Stern said Sunday the league likely would play regular-season games in London before the British capital hosts the 2012 Olympics.
Stern, however, also said the possibility of taking meaningful games to Europe was nowhere near a done deal.
``Although we have no plans on the drawing board, it has been suggested to us that we should schedule in the next three years or so some regular-season games here - more than just one - on some regular basis,'' Stern said before the New Jersey Nets-Miami Heat preseason game at the O2 Arena. ``It's fair to say that we'll see a minimum of one and possibly more regular-season games by 2012.''
Stern sees the Olympics as a springboard to increasing the NBA's marketability in Britain, which is one of the richest countries in the world.
NBA-style arenas in major Chinese cities.
China is one of the NBA's biggest overseas markets, and Beijing hosted the 2008 Olympics.
The NHL opened its season in London last year, and then did so again this season with games in Prague, Czech Republic, and Stockholm, Sweden. The NFL also played a regular-season game in London last year, and the New Orleans Saints are scheduled to face the San Diego Chargers on Oct. 26 at Wembley Stadium.
Stern said he was aware of the success the other leagues were having.
``We pretty much keep our own counsel with respect to our agenda, although we always watch what everyone does and if we see a good idea we unabashedly copy it,'' he said.
But despite sounding positive about playing regular-season games in London, Stern downplayed the chances of having an NBA All-Star game at the O2 Arena, which is hosting one of the four preseason games around Europe this year.
``It would take too many air buses and Boeing 747s to transport our 6,000 guests,'' Stern said. ``We're in the basketball business, not the travel business.''

NBA Team Pages

Recent NBA Discussions