Adam Silver addresses NBA's Participation in International Competition

Posted by Unknown on Sunday, August 03, 2014 with No comments
"First, our hearts go out to Paul George, his family and the Pacers.
"Second, basketball has unquestionably taken incredible strides since 1992 when NBA players began playing in the Olympics, not to mention, the jump many of our players have made in terms of ability, leadership and passion for the game by playing for their home countries.
"Injuries can happen any place at any time. The experiences our players have enjoyed by participating in their national teams, however, are ones that are unique and special in almost every other way.
"Third, our goal is to make basketball the number one sport in the world. This is not going to happen unless governments around the world continue to back basketball as a healthy way for their youth to become physically fit and to learn important values like discipline and team work.
"Basketball is a sport of choice internationally because of the ease of participation, its universality and the fact that its been an Olympic sport for nearly 80 years. In fact, I returned from China yesterday where I met in Beijing with the Vice Premier (Liu Yandong) along with the Ministers of Sport and Education who are seeking the NBA's support and assistance in making basketball part of the physical education curriculum for children throughout China. The Chinese government's desire to grow grassroots basketball and improve their developmental programs is further motivated by their national teams failure to qualify for the upcoming World Cup of Basketball as well as their lack of success in recent Olympics. (I should note that the most viewed basketball game in history remains the USA v. China match-up in the 2008 Olympics when the Chinese team featuring Yao Ming made it to the medal round.)

"Basketball also did not become widely popular in many other countries until their national teams had some success. For all of these reasons, I don't anticipate a major shift in the NBA's participation in international competitions. Of course, there's no doubt that this will be a hot topic at our next NBA competition committee meeting in September and our Board of Governors' meeting in October and we will continue to evaluate the pros and cons of participating in international tournaments."

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