stern_bw_568NBA Commissioner David Stern says Premier League chiefs should look at staging an annual All Star Game to showcase their top stars in a new way.

The biggest names in basketball have gathered in Houston for Sunday night’s annual All Star showpiece, including Miami Heat forward LeBron James and Great Britain international Luol Deng of the Chicago Bulls.

Stern, who will retire next year, admits to being a huge admirer of the Premier League and its global popularity.

And having an annual clash between its own leading lights is a concept they should consider, he said.

“You can always use one,” he said. “Whether you need one I don’t know. But it’s good to give the fans an opportunity to come together. For us, our All Star Game is an opportunity to talk about community service, the Women’s NBA, the skills of our game, the Game itself. It’s a whole different approach to everything we do.”


The NBA will bring a pre-season game to Manchester in October and Stern’s interest in the British market saw him intervene in the recent debate over UK Sport’s initial decision to strip the sport of any funding in the run-up to the 2016 Olympic Games. And he believes the agency’s change of heart will deliver long-term rewards.

“I’m very pleased,” he said. “As was apparent prior to the Olympics, basketball is a sport that’s progressive, inclusive and diverse. And I recommend it highly to countries and communities trying to find ways to bring them together and keep them active.”

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