Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Boozer backs European expansion

Utah Jazz forward Carlos Boozer is getting a taste of what life might be like if the long-standing vision of creating a European division to the NBA ever comes to pass.

Long-haul travel. Jet-lag (despite the team buying up an entire trans-Atlantic flight). Practice at weird hours. Different food. And, even in the UK, that old-fashioned language barrier.

But none of those disincentives is enough to put off the All-Star from backing the idea.

“I would be excited about it, having the chance to travel a little bit more,” Boozer declared ahead of his team’s meeting with Chicago in London.

“For the NBA, there couldn’t be just one franchise. There would need to be four or five so that when you come over to Europe, you’re not just coming all the way to play in London then flying all the way back to the west coast.

“Hopefully if they do open up franchises, there would be five or six of them so we could spend some time and get to know the cities.”

For the Jazz, this excursion takes in two stops with Thursday’s visit to Madrid to take on Real. And for a team whose playoff hopes were derailed last season by injury, there is little holding back despite the ‘exhibition’ status of the games.

“For us, as a team we want to continue to get better with every game we play because the regular season is just two and a half weeks away,” Boozer added. “We want to get as ready as possible. We have a tough schedule.

“I’m sure coach will be putting in a lot of stuff because it is London. But as long as get better as a group of guys, that’s what we’re looking forward to doing.” 

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