The National Basketball Association (NBA) may launch a professional basketball tournament in India in the next two to three years. After hosting the NBA Pre-season matches in India earlier this year, the North American professional basketball tournament is said to be considering to start the overseas version of the NBA league abroad.
If all goes well, India will get the second NBA professional league outside of North America. The first will take place in March next year in Africa – African Basketball League. BAL was announced in February this year and the logo was launched last week.
The NBA reportedly has a fan base of 110 million in India and about 78% of the audience of pre-season Indian games came from the Hindi-speaking market. That opened up a new market for domestic sports.
Indian NBA chief executive Rajesh Sethi confirmed to the Daily Economic Times that the Indian league version could be launched in 2022-23. The success of the Indian game has triggered a inflection point for the NBA in India. Although it has generated a lot of buzz in India, it has also marked many boxes for us. It has sent an internal message that India is ready for the next leap. The games also put India on the radar of other teams and players, and every day, the business cited Sethi.
“We have tried to build an ecosystem for domestic basketball and a tournament that will create a great economic value for players, who can then play in small or large tournaments.”
This is only a confirmation of the statement of NBA commissioner Adam Silver, during his visit to India for the Indiana Pacers-Sacramento Kings match that the NBA has seriously considered to launch a tournament in India within 5 next year.
NBA participated in the grassroots program, NBA with Reliance-Foundation or NBA Academy. The tournament could be the culmination of NBA protracted efforts to dominate the Indian market.
According to the report, NBA India has received interest from more than 25 businesses to buy teams. We still have not finalized the number of teams/franchises we should have. It could be anything between 8 and 12, but for now, its work is underway, Set Sethi told ET.
We also made the list of 22 arenas, he said and added that the Indian NBA has 120 players and there will be international players who want to come and play domestically. The main NBA League, with 30 teams, outlines 450 players per season, of which more than 100 are from outside the United States.