The National Basketball Association has touched down in foreign countries like Brazil, United Kingdom, and China. The NBA is growing on a global scale as the league is bringing in an increasing amount of foreign talent to North America. Commissioner David Stern is giving back to the Countries that have brought them super star talent offering them exhibition games. The exhibition games would feature the countries top NBA stars like Leoandro Barbosa and Anderson Varejao from Brazil, Yao Ming and Yi JianLing from China, and Luol Dang and Ben Gordon from the United Kingdom. However one country that has been left out of the exhibition game talk is Australia. Home of the second largest fan base outside of North America and NBA star players Andrew Bogut and Patrick Mills, Australia is making a case for an exhibition game.
With such a strong fan base I tend to ask myself why hasn’t the NBA set up an exhibition in Australia. With a population smaller then China’s it’s no question that Australia is the next location for foreign NBA basketball. This is a great opportunity for the NBA to increase it’s global reach and give back to its loyal international fan base. Australia certainly has the facilities and exposure to support an NBA exhibition game.
There are a few reasons why the NBA should not have an exhibition game in Australia. For one, the travel fees could be an issue, the players don’t want to feel like a pony show, the event has a high risk but a high reward. Its an exhibition game therefor the America fans ideally won’t be tuning in, as well the exhibition is meant for warming up and getting ready for the season. Fans could be disappointed when they see lack luster basketball.
Australia is the leading subscriber to NBA league pass and they are also number one in international merchandise sales. The NFL, English Premier League, NHL, and soon the dodgers in 2014 will have played in Australia, thus leaving out the NBA. With NBA star center/forward Andrew Bogut pulling for an exhibition game in his Country it should not be long until we see the NBA in Australia.
What are your comments, do you see the NBA playing in Australia in the near future, long term or will Australia never see the likes of the NBA.