David Stern: NBA eyeing Brazil

Updated: October 7, 2010, 9:54 AM ET
Associated Press

PARIS -- David Stern is promising Brazilian fans they will soon have the chance to watch NBA players in action in their own country.

The NBA commissioner said during a news conference Wednesday that preseason games will be held in Brazil "likely prior to the 2014 World Cup", when Brazil will organize the showcase soccer tournament.

"My backup position is prior to the Olympics," Stern said of the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro. "We are well aware of the World Cup and Olympic expectations. And we expect to be following up on that opportunity relatively shortly."

Stern was speaking ahead of a preseason game between the New York Knicks and the Minnesota Timberwolves in Paris. He also said the NBA would soon open an office in Brazil.

The NBA has been playing exhibition games in London and Paris for several years and has expanded its European presence with the first regular-season games scheduled for March in London. There also will be exhibitions in China and Mexico in October.

The NBA has taken notice of the travel alert issued last week by the U.S. government warning of potential terror threats in Europe, Stern said.

"We have taken all the steps that we think are necessary to ensure the safety of the traveling parties that we have here in Europe," Stern said. "But we didn't go into lockdown mode. In other words, we let them enjoy the cities under our watchful eyes."

Stern said he met with French basketball officials to discuss the possibility of staging a WNBA game in France.

"This appears to be a really good market for women's basketball, perhaps the best," Stern said.


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press