STERN AND THE NBA DON’T REST ON THEIR LAURELS Fox Sports International By Leandro Ginóbili
STERN AND THE NBA DON’T REST ON THEIR LAURELS
By Leandro Ginóbili
The NBA and David Stern are not precisely known for resting on their laurels and allowing themselves to be carried by favourable yet circumstantial winds. The global crisis has hit hard on the most powerful countries of the world, and its origin and epicentre were the United States of America.
And the consequences are already showing. The dollar is no longer the mightiest currency of the world, and it has not been the reference in quite a while. The U.S. no longer has the tallest building or the most powerful car makers on the planet. Their stock exchange is no longer the place where everybody wants to be at.
The Americans’ pride and arrogance did not allow them to anticipate the problem and be one step ahead in order to mitigate the consequences. The excessive greed of a few made many fall, believing that their country was immune to everything.
They were horribly wrong, and they are suffering the consequences, which could lead to the end of the world dominance for them. Barack Obama was the main character of another big failure – the fact that Chicago was not chosen to host the 2016 Olympic Games. Actually, it was the first city to be ruled out. Obama, the President of the most powerful nation on Earth, was the visible face of the unsuccessful olympic mission.
The reason of this introduction, certainly not very sports-related, is to make it clear that the NBA authorities do not intend to make the same mistakes the politicians of their country have made, and they are acting in accordance.
The best way of doing so is not to isolate themselves, it is to open their borders, something that they have actually been doing for the last fifteen years, when they allowed Canada to host two franchises. There have been rumours about things that haven’t come to be yet, such as annexing Mexico and its 106 million people as a part of the NBA world.
Now rumours speak of a new, much more ambitious, European expansion. Thus, the NBA would create a division with homes in cities such as Barcelona, Rome, Paris, London and Athens, amongst the most likely.
We are talking of involving the most important countries in Europe and, this way, turning the NBA into the biggest clubs competition on the planet, with real chances of continuing the expansion into the East, where lies the Holy Grail for any kind of activity – China.
Precisely the great David Stern has just announced, straight from Mao’s land, a cooperation agreement with the Chinese Basketball Association, which simply puts a formal coat on something that has been taking place for some time now – the landing of prestigious NBA coaches, pre-season games, recruit-camps in search of the new Yao Ming… and these are just a few examples.
Let us consider the power of multiplication that China has. For instance, the televised Houston games that feature Yao are seen by an amount of people that is slightly bigger than the whole U.S. population.
Recently, Argentinian Luis Scola, on a publicity tour throughout the great Asian country, wrote a few lines in his main sponsor’s blog. A few minutes later, there were more than 300,000 comments.
There are hundreds of examples, like the one we just mentioned, of what it means to set foot in the right way in a country of approximately 1,500 million people, a country that has an economic growth like no other.
Even Goliath was defeated by David because he underestimated the little man and thought of himself as almighty. However, with such essentially open and brilliant minds in it, the NBA will certainly keep being, for a long time, the acronym that represents the best basketball in the world.Leandro Ginobili