TORONTO (REUTERS) - The National Basketball Association (NBA) is considering taking its All-Star Weekend overseas and Europe would be the likely host over Asia given the shorter amount of travel involved for players, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said on Saturday.
With Toronto currently hosting the league's first All-Star Weekend outside of the United States, he acknowledged that finding ways to bring its mid-season showcase overseas was being discussed.
"We're always talking about it," he said during a news conference. "It's logistically more difficult than it may seem because there's a ripple effect in terms of the number of days we take off on the rest of the schedule."
The NBA currently plays its 82-game regular-season schedule in about 162 days and has recently made strides in reducing the number of times a team play on consecutive days or a more gruelling stretch of four games in five nights.
But Silver said the league was talking to the NBA Players' Association about the length of the season, which ends in June, and the pre-season.
"If we travel overseas for All-Star ... players will need additional time to adjust their sleep patterns and to get re-acclimated when they come back to the States," said Silver. "So the problem is if we leave the country for All-Star, it puts pressure on the rest of the schedule. "It's something we'd love to do one day. It's not going to happen in the next two, three, four years, but I think down the road, it could be a really exciting element for the NBA."
The NBA, which had 100 international players from 37 countries and territories on opening-night rosters when the current campaign began last October, has played a number of regular-season games overseas, mostly in London or Tokyo.
But the NBA, which is the only American sports league with a significant following throughout Asia, said getting the All-Star Weekend there could prove too difficult to pull off.
Charlotte, North Carolina, has already been named host of the NBA'S 2017 All-Star Weekend, which includes an exhibition of top players, a three-point contest and slam-dunk contest.
"Just to be really honest, I think getting to Asia during an All-Star break would be that much more difficult than travelling to Europe in an All-Star break," said Silver. "If we do get to the point where we believe we can experiment with playing an All-Star Game outside of the US and Canada, I think in the first instance we probably would not be looking to go to Asia."