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'I asked for us to be included in the Eastern Conference' - Perez wants Real Madrid in the NBA

22:20 BST 12/09/2019
Florentino Perez Real Madrid Unveil New Manager Zinedine Zidane 11032019
The president says an NBA spot should be on the table for the club as they have dominated the sport in Europe

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez dreams of seeing the club's basketball team playing in the NBA and has suggested a move to the league's Eastern Conference would be a good way to test their quality.

Madrid are one of the dominant forces in European basketball, winning a record 10 EuroLeague titles. Their most recent success was in the 2017-2018 season, while they were defeated in the semi-finalists earlier this year by CSKA Moscow.

They have also won the Spanish league four years out of the last five, and have conquered their domestic league 35 times, more than any other Spanish club, including the previous two campaigns. 

With their massive run of success in Europe, Perez is now suggesting Madrid's players deserve to test themselves against the best by joining the NBA's Eastern Conference, which features the league's reigning champion, the Toronto Raptors.

However, he concedes that is not an option the NBA is willing to accept at the current time. 

"In basketball we play many insignificant games," Perez said. "It's better to play less, but better.

"We have explored the option of a European League and I have the dream of seeing Madrid in the NBA.

"I have asked us to be included in the Eastern Conference, but they say that's far away."

The distance between Madrid and New York is over 3,500 miles - greater than the area between New York and Los Angeles, which is approximately 2,450 miles, rendering travel difficult.

To get around those travel issues, Perez suggested an alternative option could be to include Real Madrid in a new European Conference that would be part of the NBA with some of Europe's other big club teams. 

And Perez suggested it could be a boon for the league's popularity, noting how widely followed his own club is on social media. 

"The other teams in Spain don't have as much interest," Perez added.

"But there are Greek and Turkish clubs with which we could have a European Conference.

"There are only two teams in the NBA with more followers than us on social networks."