The NBA (with FIBA) is about to launch a professional basketball league in Africa.
Would the same thing work in India?
The NBA is looking into it, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told Marc Spears of ESPN’s The Undefeated.
The building arenas part is critical — India just does not have the facilities yet for a professional league. The Sacramento Kings and Indiana Pacers just played the first-ever NBA game in India Friday, a preseason game in Mumbai, but to make that happen the league had to bring its own court, scoreboards, seats and even help redo the locker rooms.
We’re a long way from that league launch.
That doesn’t make the impact of the first NBA game there any less, as Kings owner and India native Vivek Ranadive told the Associated Press.
“This is a historic day, but for me it’s a dream come true,” Ranadive said at a news conference before the game in Mumbai. “I left Bombay when I was 17 years old and literally I had $50 in my pocket, so to come back here with my NBA team and also bring my friend (Indiana owner) Herb Simon with his team and to play an actual NBA game is beyond my wildest, wildest imagination.”
As for that first game itself, it went to overtime before Indiana’s T.J. Warren put the Pacers ahead for good with 1:03 left. Indiana beat Sacramento 132-131 in overtime.