London Calling: Do The Poms Deserve the NBA More Than The Aussies?
Basketball is an international sport, therefore David Stern wanted to explore his options and expand overseas.
International indeed, 84 foreign born players were on rosters at the beginning of this season, however this does not mean that other countries are interested in watching the great game we long for down under.
Australians are constantly praying and waiting for the NBA to come to our beloved country, therefore when we see it shipped to our sister country the UK we can be a little upset.
Although we want to see basketball take its rise in the sporting ladder, the expansion into the UK may not have been so successful after all.
The Daily Mail had this to say in the British papers during the week:
UK Sport’s announcement in December that basketball would receive nothing over the next four years – compared to £8.6million in the lead up to the London Games – left officials shocked and completely undermined the optimism that had existed about the sport’s development here.”
The British papers along with the public were simply treating the NBA game as ‘a bunch of clowns (coming to town).’
Just a tad of a disgrace seeing any other country would probably pay a load of money to see them play just one game.
Then when they actually comment on the game, the British Papers think they can take the Mickey out of the NBA:
“So who’s going to win on Thursday?
I’m going to go with the *ahem* home side in a bit of a surprise. Despite being lower in the standings, the Pistons have been a better team as of late. So I think they’ll pull off the minor upset.”
Awful, just awful.
Aussies would be so excited to see their favourite basketball players hit our shores that marketing would even need to be mentioned, it would be so exciting, tickets would go in a heartbeat.
The NBA is seeking to increase its global reach, with commissioner David Stern predicting this month multiple franchises in Europe within 20 years.
That would appear to be a tough goal, considering the global economy, now adding this lack of enthusiasm to the list.
In England, basketball isn’t even offered as a sport in most schools. It’s soccer, soccer and some more soccer. So the NBA might want to start having to push real hard to make their mark in Britain.
Things would be a lot different if they found their way down under.
We have basketball as a main sport; we have our own league (even if it is a currently depleted NBL, hopefully slowly rising back up to its previous heights), and there’s a great junior program running across the country.
Although we all know that the distance to Australia isn’t the most ideal, I guess it’s just one of those dreams we all have where we hope the NBA could play an exhibition game in Aus one day.
Londoners who were interviewed days prior to the Knicks/Pistons game, there were people who would have gone along to the game if they scored free tickets, however they didn’t know the rules properly and didn’t understand any game play.
Such a waste to see such a large marketing process in a foreign country is treated like a ‘circus coming to town.’
What do you think?
Does Australia deserve an NBA Exhibition match played on our soil?
Photo Credit: Jamie McDonald/Getty Images