The NBA has taken a whole lot of pride in its role in bringing and growing the game of basketball all over the planet. The league routinely leaves the United States to hold camps and, occasionally, NBA games in other countries. Plus there’s one team in Canada, there used to be another, and whenever the subject of expansion is floated, Mexico City always seems to pop up as a potential location for a squad.

As for whether it’s feasible to leave North America, well, that’s another conversation entirely, one that the NBA does not appear ready to have. We know this because the president of one of the top teams in Europe approached the league with the hopes of kicking off this conversation and the league said no.

Florentino Pérez, the president of Spanish giants Real Madrid, has aspirations of his team one day joining the NBA. According to Ben Hayward of the London-based Evening Standard, Pérez says that he’s even reached out to the league about becoming the newest team in the Eastern Conference, but the NBA wasn’t into that idea.

“In basketball we play many insignificant games,” Perez said. “It’s better to play less, but better. We have explored the option of a European League and I have the dream of seeing Madrid in the NBA.

“I have asked us to be included in the Eastern Conference, but they say that’s far away,” Perez continued.

As any soccer fan will tell you, Pérez is a notoriously eccentric executive, one who is perpetually willing to fork over gigantic sums of cash to acquire the best players in the world and just as willing to fire a manager or sell a player at the drop of a hat. In terms of the value that Real Madrid would bring to the league, along with the willingness to do whatever it took to immediately become one of the best teams in the NBA, they’d be a dream addition. There’s some familiar names on the team, like ex-Blazers guard Rudy Fernández and former journeyman forward Anthony Randolph, plus it’s the club that gave us Luka Doncic.

Still, the fact that getting to Spain would be an absolute nightmare for teams — especially ones on the west coast — probably make this a non-starter. It would be a blast to see Madrid take on some NBA squads in a serious competition, and perhaps advances in technology will make this a thing the league can consider somewhere down the road, but for now, it’s hard to imagine this dream becoming a reality any time soon.

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Author : Bill DiFilippo

Publish date : 2019-09-12 21:31:20