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The NBA Is Heading To Cuba

The NBA will become the first major sports organization from the United States to visit Cuba since President Obama ordered relations between the U.S. and Cuba normalized in December. The NBA will run a four day development camp and clinic to help the rising stars of Cuban basketball. The NBA and FIBA will also bring two players and one coach to the States for a Basketball Without Borders camp. While nowhere near as popular as baseball, basketball is still extremely popular on the island. I would say it’s the second most popular sport. It’s certainly more well respected than soccer. Former MVP Steve Nash, Dikembe Mutombo, WNBA legend Ticha Penicheiro and NBA coaches Quin Snyder of Utah and James Borrego of Orlando will be there. No doubt there will also be some talent scouts. Why should the MLB be the only sport to benefit from open relations?

I’m actually pretty surprised that the first organization to formally go is the NBA. I would have thought the MLB would have been on the first flight out. You know that team owners are salivating over the prospect of the untapped Cuban market. But the truth is that the same holds true for the NBA. There are some terrific players that are right now playing in some dilapidated Soviet built gym in Havana and Santiago that could be the next NBA all-star.

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