North American basketball’s NBA has announced that Ramez Sheikh will step down as its managing director in Asia and India at the end of April.

Sheikh, who joined the NBA in 2016, has overseen the league’s business in the Asia-Pacific region since May 2022.  

During his tenure, the NBA established an office in Singapore, hosted two global games in India, and opened its largest store in the Philippines. The league also launched the first NBA store in Australia.

Under Sheikh’s leadership, the NBA expanded media partnerships across the region, including broadcast partnerships with Rakuten (Japan), Cignal (Philippines), ESPN (Australia), SpoTV (Korea), Emtek (Indonesia) and more than 20 other broadcasters, making NBA games available in 18 Asia-Pacific countries and territories.  

Sheikh has also been credited for the NBA experiencing record consumption and growth across its League Pass streaming platform and social media in the region.

The league also pointed to his role in the growth of NBA fan acquisition and engagement, as well as securing a range of partnerships.

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Mark Tatum, NBA deputy commissioner and chief operating officer, said: “On behalf of the NBA, I want to thank Ramez for his stewardship and many contributions to growing and developing the game, business, and affinity for basketball since joining the league more than seven years ago.

“Basketball and the NBA are well-positioned to flourish in the region in large part because of Ramez’s efforts.”

Meanwhile, NBA commissioner Adam Silver has admitted the league is eyeing Las Vegas for a potential expansion team.

Vegas and Seattle have often been touted as favourites to land franchise rights should the league expand to 32 teams in the coming years.

Silver had previously confirmed he would consider Mexico City as a potential expansion site as it looks to increase the number of franchises in the league.

But having staged the semi-final and final of its inaugural in-season tournament in Vegas earlier this season, Silver stated that the city is “definitely on our list” for an expansion team. 

In an interview on ESPN's “The Pat McAfee Show”, Silver added: “We want to figure out what our media relationships are going to look like, but then we will turn to expansion.”

An expansion team is unlikely to join the NBA until after 2025, when the league’s nine-year, $24 billion media rights deal expires, and a lucrative new deal is secured.

Silver is reportedly in the process of finalizing a contract extension that is expected to keep him in the post until 2030.