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NBA expansion: Montreal group in talks with commissioner

Looking at what’s happening elsewhere in North America, it’s easy to be jealous of certain other cities.

Obviously, we can talk about cities like New York, Chicago or Los Angeles, where there are pro teams per square foot, but it would be unfair to compare ourselves to such large markets.

But even a city like Philadelphia, with its soccer, baseball, basketball, football and hockey teams, has something to make fans here a little jealous.

Why don’t we have that here?

The case often used is Toronto. After all, it’s a Canadian city, and apart from the NFL, all the major sports are in the Queen City. And they have the money to (often) have good teams. #MLSE

In Montreal, the CFL has been in good health for the past year and the soccer team… exists, but otherwise, it’s a city where hockey is king.

We know there were talks (now a dream) of bringing a ball club back to the city, but nothing has materialized since the end of the shared-custody project with the Tampa Bay Rays.

But could it be basketball that takes Montreal to the next level? With the NBA commissioner (Adam Silver) talking about league expansion and Montreal’s place in it, there’s reason to believe so.

There’s a world out there in which Silver says this so as not to close any doors to himself – like a player who’s a free agent – publicly. That said, hearing the commissioner talk like this is interesting.

Here’s what he said:

The Raptors have done a good job […] of becoming Team Canada.

There is interest from Montreal and there is continued interest from Vancouver. – Adam Silver

Of course, the 1,000-buck question is whether the NBA, in turn, is interested. After all, if it’s not mutual, let’s just say it doesn’t exactly lend credibility to the project.

Even if the commissioner says it would be a viable deal, it takes more than talk.

But hey. What we do know is that negotiations are underway with a Montreal group to be part of the next wave of expansion. This information, reported by the Journal de Montréal, comes from the horse’s mouth, Adam Silver.

Even if Vegas and Seattle – as in the NHL – seem to be the favourites, we shouldn’t necessarily dismiss other bids out of hand. I suppose it also depends on expansion costs, of course.

And given that the CH already has a Bell Centre that can serve as a home for a basketball team (as we sometimes see for preparatory games), let’s just say that it certainly wouldn’t cost the moon in terms of infrastructure to host a club. The only thing missing would be a training center… and that’s it?

Let’s say it’s simpler than in baseball, where you need a stadium in Montreal, one in Florida for training camp, and numerous minor-league stadiums across the continent.

In gusto

– The CH has room to sign Patrick Kane, but he won’t be playing for the Habs this fall.

– Inspiring.

– Incredible.

– 29 teams now have a manager.

– Deqwaaaaaaaaaah!

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