NBA SET FOR MORE EURO DATES

Europe seems likely to get additional NBA regular season games under the league’s revamped schedule.

With an early start to the campaign planned under the next Collective Bargaining Agreement to reduce the wear and tear on players by spreading out games over greater time, the practical difficulty of fitting in additional overseas contests will be eased, said Commissioner Adam Silver at a press conference in London ahead of Thursday’s Pacers-Nuggets clash.

It is the seventh time the NBA has taken regular season games to the UK but in recent years, they have been single meetings rather than a back-to-back.

The revamped CBA, which is almost complete, might alter that.

“What we’ve done in the new collective bargaining agreement, with the cooperation of our players, is add an extra week to the season,” Silver said. “We still have the same number of games but an additional week, and that week will be very helpful in allowing international play midseason because we can build in those extra days for rest when our players are traveling long distances.

“What we plan to do is once that new collective bargaining agreement is complete, take a fresh look, especially in the markets throughout Europe, where from a practical standpoint it’s more likely that we can add additional regular-season games. So that will be something that we’re focused on.”

Recent claims by former NBA coach George Karl asserted the league has a problem with performance enhancing drugs without detailing any specific allegations.

But Silver insists that it is an issue which does not cause him undue concern.

“I’ll just say our testing is state of the art,” he said. “I have no reason to believe whatsoever that we have an issue, either as the result of testing or as the result of other information that comes to the league office. I’d say that in most sports where there are issues, even when players do not test positive, usually there is some chatter that there is something going on. Other than what George Karl wrote in his book, there is no chatter whatsoever in the league. Obviously, many reporters are in this room who cover the NBA; presumably if they thought there was an issue, they would be writing about it.

“Having said that, we take allegations of performance-enhancing drugs or drug abuse of any kind incredibly seriously. I’m sure we will go through George Karl’s book, others, not me, in the league office, word by word, suggestion by suggestion, and ferret out whether there’s anything to it.

“For us, it doesn’t matter what the source is. If somebody is — especially if it’s a Hall of Fame-calibre coach registering those sort of allegations against the league, we will take them seriously. But standing here today, I have absolutely no reason to believe there’s any truth to those allegations.”

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