Courtesy of Los Angeles 2024

The NBA and WNBA Friday announced their support for Los Angeles’ bid for the 2024 Olympics, two days after Mayor Eric Garcetti gave laid down one condition for the city to accept hosting the 2028 Games instead.

“The NBA is proud to support Los Angeles’ bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said. “We have had two NBA teams in Los Angeles (since 1984), a WNBA team for 21 years and beginning next season two Development League teams. LA is truly an epicenter of global basketball.

Basketball has been an Olympic sport for more than 80 years, but it was in 1992 when the Dream Team inspired a new generation of fans and future NBA players. What better way to bring the Games into a new era and once again inspire the next generation of Olympians and Para-Olympians than showcasing them in a city that embodies creativity, entertainment and sports.”

Added WNBA President Lisa Borders: “LA 2024’s bid to host the Olympics represents what is truly great about sports — they bring everyone together and inspire young people to dream of what is possible.

With its unrivaled mix of imagination and innovation, Los Angeles … is the right city at the right time to bring the spirit of the Olympic movement to a new generation and empower every little girl and boy around the world to dream big and believe that they belong.”

Casey Wasserman, chairman of LA2024, the group spearheading the campaign to bring the Olympics to Los Angeles for a third time, said the organization is honored to earn the support of two of the world’s leading and visionary professional sport leagues.”

“The NBA and WNBA’s proven expertise in state-of-the-art sports presentation tailored for global audiences is the type of creativity that LA can bring to the 2024 Games,” Wasserman said.

“LA 2024 is focused on the future of the Olympic and Paralympic movements and we aim to help all sports federations grow and succeed in America’s $250 billion sports market and around the world. Tapping into our city’s youth culture, LA 2024 would also increase sports participation among America’s 100 million young people and many more around the world.î

Garcetti said he would support a deal to give Paris the 2024 Games and Los Angeles the 2028 Games if the International Olympic Committee agreed to fund youth sports programs throughout Los Angeles.

My dream is not so much as to bring the Olympics here, but is to bring youth sports for free to every ZIP code,” Garcetti said at a news conference Wednesday.

Garcetti, a member of the LA 2024 board, said in March that “even if there were two (bids awarded in September) … L.A. should go first.”

The International Olympic Committee’s executive board will consider a proposal next week for a rare two Games bid, something the full committee would vote on in July.

A decision on the site of the 2024 Olympics will be made in September.

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the IOC is leaning toward awarding Paris the 2024 Games and Los Angeles the 2028 Games and that, in addition to the funding for youth sports, would also provide money for Los Angeles’ Olympic organizing committee to keep operating an additional four years.

—City News Service

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