Baumann: We hope NBA players can someday join their national teams

FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann hopes that the NBA players will hopefully link up for international play someday.

Baumann spoke to Emmet Ryan of Ball in Europe after the Irish National Cup finals as he spoke candidly about the impact of the first international window where no NBA players competed.

“The NBA is a league that is around 70 years. Since the 1960s they play exclusively as a domestic league, it’s a closed league and they live in their space which fits the US sports scenario,” said Baumann.

“We have an excellent relationship with the NBA since the end of the 1980s. The relationship is clear, the NBA will release players as long as it’s outside their season. We respect the history, my predecessor [Borislav Stankovic] made that deal with David Stern, and the NBA respects us. Today, the G-League frees the players.

“In terms of ambition, things only change when you start losing on the court. If the game is global and the NBA wants to dominate globally, then who knows whether they will have to think of a different schedule.”