The NBA made a historic venture into India with the first-ever preseason game involving Sacramento Kings and Indiana Pacers, at the National Sports Club of India’s indoor stadium here on Friday. A crowd of more than 3,000 children from the Reliance Foundation Junior NBA program was also in attendance.
Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive has had talks with Adam Silver, the current commissioner of the National Basketball Association, about the formation of a 12-team league in India that would follow in the footsteps of Basketball Africa League, which will begin its inaugural season in March 2020.
Vivek Ranadive added he’s had discussions with India prime minister Narendra Modi about building arenas in the country if the league forms.
“Our two most immediate goals are to see the development of some top-tier talent coming out of India, where we would again see players coming into the NBA and WNBA. There’s also an enormous pool of young women playing the game as well. Also, we are seriously considering the launch of a league,” said Adam Silver.
Adam Silver affirmed that they (NBA) were closer to fulfilling their goals now than five years ago. “One of the things we need, though, is more of an arena infrastructure. I think this is where Vivek (Ranadive)—chairman and co-owner of Sacramento Kings—was a little ahead of the schedule that we might otherwise have been on. This is a fantastic facility we’re in today, but it required us bringing in a court, a scoreboard, seats, locker rooms. And it’s relatively small certainly by NBA standards,” said Silver.
Just imagine the existence of state-of-the-art arenas in major cities to watch more of NBA in India.