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October 8, 2009

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NBA still set on a game in London

THE NBA is still planning to play a regular-season game in London before the 2012 Olympics are hosted by the British capital, although commissioner David Stern said on Tuesday there is no set schedule.

Stern has said that he wants to play a meaningful game at London's O2 Arena, where the Chicago Bulls beat the Utah Jazz 102-101 in a preseason game on Tuesday.

"We hope to do it," Stern said, noting that 2010 and 2011 would be the last chances. "We're running out of runway, but we will likely do it."

The NBA was playing in London for the third straight year, and the game at the O2 was again sold out. Although this year's trip to Europe was cut down from previous visits, the Jazz still have one more game to play today against Real Madrid in the Spanish capital.

"I'd love to play here," said Bulls forward Luol Deng, who was raised in London. "I won't be surprised if that happens."

The NBA is also playing preseason games in Mexico and Taiwan.

Stern also spoke about the global economic downturn and the talks with the referees union. The NBA has locked out the regular referees because of a contract dispute.

"As far as I know, there have been no further conversations with the union," Stern said.


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