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“We have a future together with the NBA”

“We have a future together with the NBA”

By Lefteris Moutis/ moutis@eurohoops.net

Euroleague CEO Jordi Bertomeu was present in Athens, Greece, and before the game between Olympiacos and Anadolu Efes he spoke about almost every matter of the competition. However the most important part of the press conference was the way he presented the possible expansion of the NBA to Europe under the terms of the American league as almost an impossible plan. That’s why according to him the cooperation with Euroleague should be considered the only way for this to be done.

As he said: “My answer is the same with David Stern’s answers. Every time this subject comes up, he says that he will think about it for the next ten years and every one starts to talk about it. In order for the NBA to come, there should be 5-6 really strong European teams in a league with a 130 million USD financial turnover. That means tickets which will cost 100 euros per average and at least 150 sold outs per season. Our television partners should pay ten times more for the rights. And we also have to answer how the salary cup will work under a possible six different taxation laws in different countries. There are many legal issues. A lot of people talk about NBA in Europe, but not about those matters. My place is to give answers. It’s easy to make the questions. Adam Silver, the new commissioner, is a great contributor to the sport. We have met and I think that we have a future together. We want to increase our cooperation and we want to see things realistically”.

Bertomeu once again repeated that Euroleague will not interrupt its season for the national team qualification games, despite the new global FIBA calender: “It’s not our problem. We can’t just stop our season. We are cooperating with them, but they already refused three proposals from our side. If they want, they can have qualification games with NBA and Euroleague players”.

The Euroleague CEO also added that Euroleague expects to announce soon more big sponsorship deals, as the 10% rise of the revenues this season is good, but not great, news and also that the sale of Final Four tickets is expected to start at the 27th of February, because of bureaucratic issues in Italy.