Commissioner Stern considers putting teams in China

WASHINGTON -- NBA commissioner David Stern sees more of a
need for new pro basketball teams in China than in North America.

"I think 30 teams is a nice, round number, and I would not be
recommending to the NBA owners to expand," Stern said Monday before Game
4 of the first-round playoff series between the Washington Wizards
and Cleveland Cavaliers.

"We will see in the next couple of years, coming out of the
Beijing Olympics, the possibility of some joint venture between the
NBA and someone in China about an NBA-sponsored and -branded league
in China."

Stern added that "an NBA of China" is closer to happening than
what he called a 20-year plan for having five franchises in Europe,
and that, "domestically, we have enough teams."

On the topic of a new building for the Orlando Magic, the
commissioner said there was a recent "midnight handshake" and
that "they're working to finalize the deal, but with a very robust
contribution from the team, there are now plans for a new arena."

Stern has said that Orlando would be a candidate to host
All-Star weekend with a new building.