NBA Basketball

Before the Magic and Raptors played

in London, NBA commissioner Adam Silver made clear that the league is not seeking to add a European franchise any time soon.

"We are not actively taking steps to bring a franchise to Europe or to expand to Europe," Silver said in a London press conference. "It's something that we've looked at over the years. It just doesn't feel like the time is ripe right now, especially given what's going on with the Euroleague and FIBA. 

"We think the best place for the NBA right now is to showcase an NBA game here in London, to play our preseason games here, and to work on a grassroots level to develop the game. But at the current time, we are not looking at franchises in Europe."

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Though Silver shut the door on an immediate move across the pond, it appears he's still open to the idea down the road.

"The next step is to continue to work on a grassroots basis here in Europe," he said. "So for us and working closely with Ben Morel, who runs our London office, we want to make sure we're part of a larger platform to grow the game. So while we're going to continue to play these regular‑season games, I think we're working closely with FIBA, closely with the Euroleague, to continue building the game of basketball here."

The showdown between the Raptors and Magic marks the sixth straight year the NBA has played a regular season game in London, which led to the question: Why always London?

"I think London is special, number one, because of the relationship we've had with AEG," Silver said. "We've been in business with them for a long time. We know each other well.  We have a strong understanding with them of what it takes to produce NBA basketball. 

"(Also) This arena is unique in terms of its ability to meet all the NBA specifications that are required for a regular‑season game here. I will say London, in terms of logistically, in terms of the trip from the United States, it's a fairly convenient place to fly to. And I think lastly, culturally, certainly our teams embrace London, and to me it's a cultural sort of launching pad for ultimately additional games in Europe."

But Silver also mentioned it's possible Barcelona could host a regular season game following the success of the Celtics-Real Madrid game this offseason.

"I'm sure I can't tell you exactly when, but we will be back to Barcelona. It's a wonderful city. It's a great basketball market. We have terrific fans in Spain. So we will definitely be back," he said. 

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