Basketball is not a popular game in India but US-based National Basketball Association (NBA) commissioner Adam Silver feels the country has the space in its sporting culture to "embrace new ideas and new sports".
Silver, who recently begun his second calendar year as commissioner, said basketball is a 21st century sport which can make its presence felt among Indian youngsters in the coming time.
"Our plans is to continue to grow the game of basketball in India. We recognise that we are not the most popular sport but India has an amazingly young population which is eager to embrace new ideas and eager to embrace new sports," Silver told PTI during last month's NBA All Star Weekend in New Yorkand Brooklyn.
"We think basketball is the sport of the 21st century. Ithas all the important values of teamwork, discipline, respect which are important for young people. It's a game that can beplayed by both boys and girls. It's a game that doesn't require a lot of space," he said. "We believe we can quickly expand our fan base in India." Silver said though they are promoting the game big time in India, the NBA has no plans to hold any exhibition match in the country for now.
Silver also said that Indian-American businessman Vivek Ranadive, who is also the chairman and owner of NBA team Sacramento Kings, wants his side to play an exhibition match in India whenever the NBA plans to hold one.
"We have no plans yet (to hold an exhibition match in India) but Vivek Ranadive, who was born in Mumbai, has told me that when we do play an exhibition match in India, he plans to ensure that his team Sacremento Kings is a part of that," the NBA commissioner said.