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Stern talks European expansion

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The NBA envisions having franchise teams in European cities, although commissioner David Stern said Thursday there was no timetable for that to happen.

Stern was speaking in the Taiwanese capital of Taipei, before the first-ever NBA exhibition game on the island.

"There's some good possibility over the course of many years, that if there's appropriate arena development in Europe, there could be actual NBA franchises in Europe," he said. "That's the way we see the development of basketball in the world."

Earlier this week, Stern said the league was also planning a regular-season game in London sometime before the city hosts the 2012 Olympics.

The only regular NBA games ever staged outside North America were in Japan in the early 1990s.

In addition to European expansion, Stern said the NBA also sees affiliated leagues in other continents.

"The model in Asia, probably in Latin America, possibly in Africa will lead us -- if there's adequate arena development -- to having NBA-affiliated leagues, with partners in local basketball federations," Stern said.

In Thursday's Taipei exhibition, the Denver Nuggets faced the Indiana Pacers. A capacity crowd of 13,000 is expected.