Before the Sacramento Kings take on Indiana Pacers at the Dome, NSCI, SVP Stadium in Mumbai on Friday, the owners of the Indiana Pacers Herbert ‘Herb’ Simon and Sacramento Kings Vivek Yeshwant Ranadivé along with the National Basketball Association (NBA) Commissioner Adam Silver held a press conference. Silver spoke about the possibility of the NBA launching a league in India.
Silver, commenting on the increasing interests said that there might be a possibility of an Indian Basketball League said, “ One of the things we have been discussing, my friend Vivek has been pushing me on and that is the ability to league on in India. We have wonderful partners with Reliance Foundation, Sony our broadcasting partners we have some top-notch corporate partners here and while we are here, we are taking meetings and openly having discussions.”
Fiver years ago, Silver said, that he was not sure if this venture would have even been possible. It is possible now because of the “changes in technology, the explosion of 5G, that is reducing latency and allowing incredible number of connections in dense urban areas. The engagement we are seeing from young fans here through mobile technology and plus the academy we now have in Delhi and the large numbers of young people playing has created an opportunity to do.” The two main goals for Silver is the development of top-tier talent from India and seeing them integrate into the NBA and WNBA and the serious consideration of the launch of a league.
Silver talked about the progress that the NBA has witnessed in India, “We have seen enormous progress just in the last five years. I mean when we began our relationship with the Reliance foundation for example, shortly before I became Commissioner it was to reach three million young people and now that number has exceeded ten million.” The Commissioner further spoke about the growing interests amongst the viewers here, in India and he said, “We saw last season with our relationship with Sony almost 100 million people in India watch some portion of the NBA season including an enormous audience for last years NBA finals.”