Sunday, October 4, 2009
The National Basketball Association, the N.B.A, like other U.S. enterprises is becoming increasingly global. Once a group of teams whose players came only from colleges and universities in the United States, it's now home to seventy-five players from thirty-two countries including Argentina, Australia, Cameroon, China, Latvia and the United Kingdom. The N.B.A has a global initiative (www.nba.com/global), a venture in China named NBA China and sends teams to play around the world.
Now at least one N.B.A team in the United States is about to become global as well as local. That is the New Jersey Nets (www.nba.com/nets). On September 25 the New York Times featured an article by Harvey Araton titled "N.B.A.’s Global Outreach Turns Around to the U.S. Shores”. The article discusses the planned acquisition of a majority stake in the Nets by Mikhail Prokhorov, a Russian billionaire and its implications for the team and US basketball. Will his experience owning a team in Russia influence the future of the New Jersey team? Will there be other owners from outside the U.S. in years to come? Unknown. But we do know that basketball being global has a new meaning. Our world increasingly connected.