Inside the NBA’s Play for India

From Time:Nba_india1110

Having won over China, the league is now eyeing the huge, cricket-mad country with little hoops history. NBA commissioner David Stern has already executed a beautiful pivot move into China, where, thanks in part to Houston Rockets center Yao Ming, hoops is hotter than Sichuan cooking. There’s still work to be done in Europe, even though it is now a source of many NBA players, including seven Frenchmen and six Slovenes. Before the season, the Philadelphia 76ers and Phoenix Suns played exhibition games in Germany, a challenging NBA country, as part of a four-team, five-country full-court press of Europe —Italy, Spain, France and Russia were also hosts of training camps and games.

Expanding to the world’s second most populous market hardly seems loony. After all, no American sports league has exported its brand better than the NBA, which sells more than $750 million in merchandise overseas annually. Its games are broadcast in 215 countries. And India offers a growing, tech-savvy economy with a billion potential consumers — 60% of whom are below age 30 — who could sop up NBA merchandise and follow their favorite players on

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