NBA Commissioner David Stern released a statement which said that the New Jersey Nets and the Toronto Raptors will square off on March 4 and 5 at the O2 Arena, which has been the regular venue of the NBA Europe Live Preseason Games.
“The staging of our first regular-season games in Europe is a milestone for the NBA and the ongoing development of basketball in the region,” said Stern.
“By bringing these two young and exciting teams to London, we are fulfilling our commitment to schedule a regular-season game in the UK prior to the 2012 Olympics — a natural progression given the overwhelming response to the many friendlies we have played to sold-out crowds over the years.” he added.
Stern also said that they will assess how that game will fare and then they will decide if they will schedule regular-season games annually in London.
“We’ll need to assess how we do in March,” Stern said. “It would not surprise me if this becomes an annual event. But I don’t want to make a commitment on it.”
The long-time NBA Commissioner is also not discounting the possibility if having a franchise that will be based in Europe, but said that this will not be happening in the near future.
“I think one franchise doesn’t work. It needs to be multiple franchises. We need buildings … we need owners … we need a better economy.” Stern said.
“It’s certainly something that I and my successors will be considering.”