NBL CEO Jeremy Loeliger is hopeful the AFL and NRL can fuel a basketball expansion that will take the league to a 14-team competition in years to come.
Loeliger is pushing a bold expansion plan that will see AFL, NRL and other major sporting codes field teams in the NBL.
While not wanting to be drawn on which AFL clubs had shown interest, it’s believed Collingwood and Fremantle have both expressed a desire to explore the possibilities.
Collingwood already has a team in the AFLW and fields a netball team in the national competition. GWS and Melbourne Storm also back national netball teams.
“There’s no doubt if started from scratch and built something organically it would be a tougher exercise,” Loeliger told SEN’s The Run Home.
“But if you’ve got an existing social media and marketing team, doctors and physiotherapists and the like, all you’ve got to do is put together a playing list.”
“Commercially its much simpler.”
The resurgence of the NBL, highlighted by bumper crowds to watch Melbourne United, have helped spike interest from rival codes.
While mindful of getting too big too quick, the NBL boss was adamant the nation could service more basketball and said building it on the back of established markets was the way to go.
The move has sparked talk Richmond could re-ignite the once mighty Melbourne Tigers. Loeliger said no scenario was out of bounds.
In May 2014, Melbourne Tigers owners abandoned the most iconic brand in Australian basketball and adopted a new name, Melbourne United Basketball.
Leoliger said no time frames were set but was confident preliminary talks have fuelled the fire for things to move given the issue is "not a new discussion".