(Montreal) NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has indicated that he is in talks with a group from Montreal about the arrival of a possible expansion team in the metropolis.
Silver addressed the topic during a televised interview that took place during Monday night’s game between the Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks. He indicated that he does not rule out the possibility of opening a new representative office in Canada, in Montreal or Vancouver, or even in Mexico City, Mexico.
The NBA commissioner, when asked about a possible extension, said the league would explore the option once the television rights are renewed — the current deal expires after the 2024-25 season.
“It’s become a very good basketball market,” he said on the air about Canada. I’d say the Toronto Raptors have done a very good job… of becoming Canada’s team. I know there is interest in Montreal. And I know there’s always been an interest in Vancouver. »
In total, 27 Canadian players currently play in the NBA — a trend that hasn’t gone unnoticed by Silver. The latter also recalled the recent successes of the Canadian men’s basketball team, which managed to win the bronze medal at the FIBA World Cup last summer after defeating the United States.
No country other than the United States contributes as many players to the NBA as Canada. Among the biggest maple leaf stars who play in the NBA are Quebecers Luguentz Dort (Oklahoma City Thunder), Bennedict Mathurin (Indiana Pacers) and Chris Boucher (Toronto Raptors), and Ontarians Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Thunder), Andrew Wiggins (Golden State Warriors). and Jamal Murray (Denver Nuggets).
“When we first set up there (in Canada), it was definitely a hockey market,” Silver told NBC Sports Boston. Young people now enjoy basketball. They obviously still love hockey, but there will be other opportunities eventually. »
A group of businessmen who have been trying to establish an NBA team in Montreal for more than six years, including Quebec politician Michael Fortier, said in March that there was “nothing to report” on the matter. During the same public appearance, Fortier added that an NBA expansion team would cost between US$2 billion and US$3 billion.
The Thunder faced the Detroit Pistons in an NBA preseason game on Oct. 12 at the Bell Center.
The Grizzlies played in Vancouver from 1995 to 2001, before moving to Memphis. Since then, the Raptors have been the only Canadian team in the NBA.