It’s no secret that David Stern has himself set on expanding the NBA into global markets. Not content merely with growing in the U.S. — though the argument could be made that there are too many NBA teams already — Stern wants an NBA presence in China, in Europe, and maybe even in India. The man loves his globalization.
But we’ve yet to see his exact plans for the Chinese market. Not anymore. Via Matt Watson at FANHOUSE, Stern knows what he wants from China, and it sounds pretty promising:
Stern said NBA China is in an “ongoing dialogue” with Chinese authorities about installing 800,000 baskets in villages across this sprawling country. The NBA also hopes to be involved with a Chinese professional league. But Stern balked at comparisons with the NBA’s Development League.
“That would be a separate league that would be NBA-affiliated or NBA-sponsored, but it would be independent,” Stern said. “And it would just sign players. For a very long time to come it would be at a lower scale than the NBA. But as the sport develops in China, and as more players around the world recognize the opportunities of playing in China, we see that league growing and strengthening.”
Like so many other businesses, Stern can merely shop his product development — after all, player quality is his “product” — overseas. Cheaper labor, an increased presence in a basketball-mad country, and the occasional league-indebted talent are all likely to emerge. It’s not exactly genius, but it is prudent.
Plus, in China, Tim Donaghy would have received a death sentence. Everybody wins!