The NBA league has the best basketball players in the world, and the FIBA World Cup in Asia in August-September will be amazing, according to NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum.
Tatum showed great excitement about the World Cup, which will be contested in the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia from August 25 to September 10, during a roundtable discussion with select journalists.
“I think it’s going to be incredible. Out of the 32 teams that will compete in the World Cup in Asia, at least 20 of them will have NBA players. NBA players are going to be everywhere at this World Cup, and I think that bringing the event to Asia will give the Asian market even more exposure to the league players through their national teams. The interest in basketball in Asia will grow and explode over time,” Tatum said.
On the international impact of the NBA, Tatum said, “We are based in North America, but we’re a truly global league. The best basketball players in the world play in our league and there are not too many other leagues that can say that quite frankly. The fact that we have the best Serbian, Canadian and the best French player. The fact that we play or broadcast games in virtually every country and territory around the world in 60 different languages speaks of the global nature of our league.”
He added, “The 2022-23 All-NBA team only features one American player, which was Jayson Tatum. He was surrounded by MVP Joel Embiid from Cameroon, Giannis Antetokounmpo from Greece, Luka Doncic from Slovenia, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander from Canada. The league is well and truly international.”
On the international players in the NBA finals between the Denver Nuggets and the Miami Heat, Tatum said, “I start off by saying that history will be made in this Finals. Nikola Jokic is another international player who is currently in the NBA Finals, with his co-star being the Canadian Jamal Murray. They will be looking to continue their Western Conference success when they take on the Miami Heat, led by Erik Spoelstra, who has heritage from the Philippines. The NBA has been concerted in its efforts for international expansion and it seems to be bearing fruit.”