The owner of the Sacramento Kings Vivek Yeshwant Ranadive addressing a press conference before NBA game between the Sacramento Kings and the Indiana Pacers in Mumbai spoke about the influence the NBA has had on the Kabbadi League. “We need to give Adam Silver (NBA commissioner) credit for the Kabbadi League because it was modelled after the NBA.”
It was efforts made by Former NBA International President Heidi Ueberroth that led to the formation of Kabbadi League, she was the one to have initially suggested it, said Silver.
Ranadive addressing the owner of the Indiana Pacers Herbert ‘Herb’ Simon said, “There is a game called Kabbadi. Every Indian boy plays this game and I actually showed the game to Shaq (NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal) and he asked if you could tackle and if there were any rules and was told no you can do all the tackling you want and now he wants to play that and make that his next game.”
Ranadive speaking about how incredible the Indian market is, said that “People forget that for the last 1,500 to 2,000 years India was the world’s largest economy and thanks to some of the changes now India is rising again.” He added that he had been talking to the Chairman of the Mahindra Anand Mahindra about the possibility of a Kabbadi team. Ranadive wishes to invest in a Kabbadi team out of nostalgia, he stated, “I played that game growing up so it is close to my heart.”
Vivek Ranadive was born in Juhu back in October 1957. The young Mumbaikar was one of the first few Indians to study at MIT and Harvard. Ranadive, who is the founder and former CEO of TIBCO, is now the co-owner and chairman of the National Basketball Association franchise - Sacramento Kings. Ranadive is adamant that the action to bring NBA teams for pre-season games is not just driven by emotions. The 61-year-old is confident that basketball will go onto become the second most popular sport in India behind cricket.