Hoop dreams: Real Madrid president Perez asks for club's basketball team to be adopted into the NBA
Florentino Perez has petitioned the NBA to include the Real Madrid basketball team into the Eastern Conference of the NBA, saying that the team's recent dominance in Europe could translate to the United States.
Madrid count themselves among the most dominant basketball teams outside of the NBA, having won a record 10 EuroLeague titles as well as four of the last five Spanish titles. And Perez suggests that the team has outgrown the competition that they face in Europe and wants to see his team tested by the very best.Also on rt.com ‘Momentous’: France dump reigning champs USA out of FIBA Basketball World Cup
"In basketball we play many insignificant games," Perez said. "It’s better to play less, but better.
"We have explored the option of a European League and I have the dream of seeing Madrid in the NBA. I have asked us to be included in the Eastern Conference, but they say that’s far away."
Another option, Perez says, would be to include Real Madrid in a new European Conference which would link with the NBA but he says that other European teams don't quite share this particular ambition.
"The other teams in Spain don’t have as much interest," Perez explained.
"But there are Greek and Turkish clubs with which we could have a European Conference. There are only two teams in the NBA with more followers than us on social networks."Also on rt.com Unexpected news: Male basketball star banned for two years after drug test revealed he was PREGNANT
Spanish basketball is currently in a very healthy state. The national team is currently ranked second in the world and on Friday defeated Australia in double overtime to qualify for the World Cup Final.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid is one of the most valuable sporting franchises in the world and one of just a handful of European brands likely to command enough name value to potentially succeed in the United States.