The FIBA Basketball Champions League will officially be launched in Paris on March 20-21 with progress being made to ensure its start date which is targeted for next season. One of the working groups of the new competition focused on the competition aspect of the league as they discussed in greater detail the allotment of spots to domestic leagues and confirmed that qualification to the league would be based on sporting merit. A draft calendar for the inaugural season (2016-17) was also drawn up.
Bryant was asked if he believes younger players lack fundamentals whereas his generation understands them more. “Yeah, but I think that is just by luck in the generation that I grew up in,” he said. “My generation is when AAU basketball really started becoming s—. I got lucky because I grew up in Europe and everything there was still fundamental, so I learned all the basics.”
There had been speculation that when Silver took over in February 2014, his primary goal was to expand the NBA into Europe, likely London or Paris. “We are not actively taking steps to bring a franchise to Europe or to expand to Europe. It’s something that we’ve looked at over the years,” Silver said. “It just doesn’t feel like the time is ripe right now, especially given what’s going on . . . with the Euroleague and FIBA. We think the best place for the NBA right now is to showcase an NBA game here in London, to play our preseason games here, and to work on a grass-roots level to develop the game. But at the current time, we are not looking at franchises in Europe.”
“We would love to figure out a way to do it, but it’s also logistically very difficult because of the travel to Europe and the travel home from Europe,” Silver said. “I should note that this year we’re going to be in Toronto next month for the NBA All-Star Game, which is the first time we’ve played an All-Star Game outside of the United States. While we don’t have to cross an ocean for that All-Star Game, it’s a start to be outside the United States. “Again, there’s no question it’s something that we’d like to figure out a way to do at some point. I think it would be a fantastic experience for everyone, and I have no doubt the players would welcome it, so long as we can build into the schedule adequate rest coming over and then adequate rest before they return to the regular season back at home.”