Silver: NBA not actively seeking European expansion


Commissioner Adam Silver insists the NBA is not looking to create a European-based franchise. 

Orlando Magic and the Toronto Raptors play at London's O2 Arena on Thursday, but Silver claims the NBA is not using the exhibition games to test the waters for a full-time team across the Atlantic

"We are not actively taking steps to bring a franchise to Europe or to expand to Europe," Silver said.

"It's something that we've looked at over the years. 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 grassroots level to develop the game. But at the current time, we are not looking at franchises in Europe."

While a European franchise was not an immediate priority for the NBA, Silver suggested it was an idea the league could look into again in the future.

"The next step is to continue to work on a grassroots basis here in Europe," he added.

"So for us and working closely with Ben Morel, who runs our London office, we want to make sure we're part of a larger platform to grow the game. 

"So while we're going to continue to play these regular-season games, I think we're working closely with FIBA, closely with the Euroleague, to continue building the game of basketball here."

The showdown between the Raptors and Magic marks the sixth straight year the NBA has played a regular season game in London.

And Silver said the English capital would remain the focus for NBA regular-season games as it is "special, number one" in the list of options in Europe.