Tanenbaum gives Colangelo endorsement of sort

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:49 PM ET

LONDON — The trip got off to a poor start for the Raptors with a loss Friday night, but it wasn’t a complete waste for everyone concerned.

Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo received an endorsement of sorts from MLSEL chairman of the board Larry Tanenbaum.

Asked if he had any news on a potential contract extension for Colangelo, Tanenbaum replied: “Bryan has a plan and we back his plan as a board.”

Whether that means an extension announcement is around the corner only Tanenbaum knows, but it certainly can’t be viewed as a bad thing if you are Bryan Colangelo.

Tanenbaum sat in on a pre-game executive panel hosted by Marv Albert and including Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver and AEG president and CEO Tim Leiweke.

The gist of the discussion was the NBA is seriously considering expanding into Europe, but it’s likely something that can’t happen for at least 10 years.

Silver said in all likelihood if something does happen, it will have to be at least a four-team division over here that would play an unbalanced schedule to avoid constantly travelling across the Atlantic.

“We hope to see it in a decade from now,” Silver said. “But there are a lot of unknowns ... To actually create a division that competes on a regular schedule with NBA teams in the U.S. (he forgot Canada) is something where there’s enormous numbers of unknowns and we’re going to continue to study it. But we’re hopeful. We think if any league can do it, we can.”

Leiweke and AEG are the driving force behind the expansion. The own the O2 Arena in London and built it to NBA specifications. They also have an 02 Arena in Berlin and another in Hamburg, as well as the Ericsson Global Arena in Stockholm, On top of that Leiweke said they have another six arenas they’re considering to expand the footprint.

AEG seems to be taking care of the venue problem NBA expansion here would have. The rest appears up to Stern and Silver to find a way to make it work.


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