This afternoon, the NBA will announce the start of a strategic partnership with BBL team Göttingen in an effort to kick off the longtime plans of an NBA Europe League. Currently ranked 4th in the German BBL, Göttingen fulfills all criteria of a test-market: the up and coming team is financially sane, known for exciting small-ball hoops and plays in a market that does not have to compete with Bundesliga soccer. “The perfect stage for a healthy start into this international basketball adventure. We’ve been planning our venture into the old continent for years, the NBA family is thrilled to finally announce this overdue breakthrough” (Tom Marchesi, Senior Manager for Communications, Europe, Middle-East, Asia).
Göttingen’s front office has been trying to keep a lid on the announcement, but team president Marc Franz decided to drop the news to local reporters this morning, after details started to leak. “This is a milestone in Göttingen’s storied history – we can’t wait to host the NBA’s big stars and tip-off the 2011/2012 season in our unique venue, the “Lokhalle”. Today, the citizens of Göttingen have reason to pride themselves and are already looking forward to bathe in the bright light of the NBA. We are thrilled to be the first European franchise in the NBA and will do everything we can to meet -and surpass- the great expectations that go hand in hand with this historic challenge.”
Specifics in regard to next season’s schedule are yet to be determined. But one fact can already be made public: the Göttingen team will change it’s name to “Purple Reign” in an effort to maximize their allure to international viewers, who may have a hard time pronouncing the city’s name. Stephan Karasch (Göttingen’s Head of Marketing): “Purple Reign” is a catchy term which was coined by our esteemed apparel sponsors “K1X” before the start of this season – I am sure our name and logo will strike a nerve with NBA fans worldwide.” New York born Göttingen center Jay Boone left practice with a wide grin yesterday afternoon and did not want to comment on specifics, but did manage to heighten expectations by adding: “The new teams automatically get to pick first, right? I want John Wall!” Göttingen coach John Patrick could not be reached for comment but will announce a press conference later today.
NBA Commissioner David Stern will make a live announcement in regard to “Operation Europe” at 06:00 pm today (http://www.nba.tv).