• Basketball

NBA 'jealous' of Champions League

ESPN staff
February 14, 2015
Adam Silver says the NBA is keeping an eye on the Champions League © AP

NBA chief Adam Silver says he is "jealous" of the Champions League as he looks for new ways for basketball to translate with the fans.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Silver, in his second year as NBA commissioner, said Europe's premier cup competition is "a fantastic concept" and "one we are always looking at".

He added: "There is so much that happens in European soccer that I'm jealous of.

"The depth and loyalty of the fans, it's almost a religious aspect to fandom."

The latest edition of the NBA All-Star game, which sees the best players from the Eastern Conference against their Western counterparts, takes place on Sunday in New York, but Silver says he doesn't believe the concept would work in English football.

"It's a great event," he said. "My reluctance to recommend it to the Premier League is that they are such a well-run league.

"With English soccer, it is the sport. People like rugby and other sports but they have their team.

"Here, I grew up in New York City for example, I support the Yankees, I'm a fan of the Giants, I'm a fan of the Rangers and the Knicks. There's a lot of choice here and a lot of divided loyalties."

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