NBA to open 5 international offices

Updated: October 6, 2009, 4:22 PM ET
Reuters

LONDON -- The NBA is opening at least five new international offices, including around three in Africa by 2012, NBA Commissioner David Stern said on Tuesday.

Speaking ahead of a preseason game in London between the Chicago Bulls and the Utah Jazz, Stern said the NBA was hiring staff, a year after the league laid off around 80 employees.

"We've made a number of hires with respect to our international offices over the past year," Stern told a news conference, adding the league is opening offices in India and the Middle East.

"We're very intently focused on Africa ... I wouldn't be surprised if we had three offices on the continent by the [2012] Olympics."

The NBA operates offices in several countries including China, Japan, Mexico and Brazil. Last year, Stern said worries over ticket sales and the U.S. economy forced the league to trim staff by nine percent.

Stern also said the NBA will play a regular season game in London before the city hosts the 2012 Olympics.

"It'll be either 2010 or 2011," he said.