NBA commissioner Adam Silver spoke about the NBA hosting a pre-season or regular season game in Greece in the coming years. At the same time, Giannis Antetokounmpo admitted that it's something he's thought about.
It's never happened before, but Greece has never hosted an NBA game. Adam Silver, though, predicts that it's a possibility we'll see in the upcoming years.
On the Cosmote TV programme "Pick n' Roll," the NBA commissioner discussed Giannis Antetokounmpo and the potential for preseason and regular season games to be held in Greece. The fact that the best league in the world is moving in that direction wasn't hidden by Silver.
During his recent visit to Abu Dabhi, Silver said about the issue that the NBA "would love to figure that out."
"I know how important this is to Giannis personally. In fact, I saw his mother last night as well, and it's also important to her. So, we're going to try and make it work."
Silver added that from a logistics standpoint, it's not easy to move these preseason games overseas, whilst repeating that he knows "how important it is not only to Giannis but to all our incredible fans in Greece. So we keep working on it," he pointed out.
Silver said there are always discussions, but because of COVID and the pandemic, many travel plans have been put on hold.
"But now that people seem to be back to normal, it's something that we can focus on again. The benefit of doing a preseason or friendly game is that it allows the players to spend more time in the market. I know that's important to Giannis," he stressed.
"Players can come with their families, enjoy the sights, and have a better sense of the country and the city. For a regular season game, we just have to come in, practice, sleep, play, and leave. So we're looking at both scenarios," he confirmed.
Giannis Antetokounmpo spoke about the NBA's worldwide expansion and mentioned the places he'd like to play, emphasizing the peculiarity of Greece.
"I've never played in China, Shanghai, or Beijing," he said. "It would be a fun experience. Maybe in India too. The more you expand the game, the more you make it global and reach places for the first time. I feel like many people around the world love basketball, we just have to introduce it. That way, we'll create more fans."
The Milwaukee Bucks were in Abu Dhabi to face the Atlanta Hawks in two preseason games. But hosting a preseason outing in Greece would be special for Giannis. As a local, he said, he would have to do a lot of extra things.
"I have played in Greece, not with an NBA team. I feel that if that happened, then the game will be the last thing that would concern me. The gym would be full of 20.000 Greek fans chanting my name, and instead of it being a nice experience for me, I'd be roaming left and right doing so many things," he explained.
"I've had that experience before, and I've thought about it. If we had the chance to play in Athens, in Thessaloniki, or some other city, in Crete maybe, that would be a nice experience."