NBA Commissioner Stern thanks Filipino fans

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MANILA -- NBA Commissioner David Stern thinks the country plays a vital role in the league’s globalization plan.


Stern, who is set to step down next year after a 30-year tenure, addressed the media in a press conference Thursday just hours before tip-off of the preseason game between the Houston Rockets and Indiana Pacers.

“The Philippines has a population of a hundred million or so and so they are a very important part of our Southeast Asian strategy,” Stern said, who will be replaced by deputy Adam Silver early next year.

“And we’re using what we’ve learned here to take further steps here where we’re working very hard to develop retail stores, develop our NBA campaign and we’ve been doing events

here—Jr. NBA, Jr. WNBA, Clinics and a lot of NBA Cares—so we’re moving to a more year-round and it’s going to be an important pole to our Southeast Asian tent.”

Stern also thanked the Filipino fans for their warm reception to the league.

“For the great fans of  the Philippines that had made the two teams seemed so much at home. The players are virtually overwhelmed by the knowledge and generosity of the fans here in Manila.”

“The Philippines is a very important market. It is the most intense and robust and knowledgeable basketball market I was going to say outside the US but maybe in the world, I’m not sure.”

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