"In the long term it's a good idea," Jordan told the AFP regarding the prospect of European teams in the NBA. "The distance and the travelling would be a problem, but it's obvious that European teams are more and more competitive.

"If things continue like this, the project could very well see its day."

Shaq goes to Phoenix
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Jordan was in Europe for a series of youth basketball clinics and to promote his Jordan sporting gear brand in Europe for Nike.

"Basketball as a whole has progressed enormously, and one of the reasons comes from the interest the NBA is garnering in Europe," the Chicago Bulls legend said.

"European basketball has become very strong and the players have contributed a lot to the development of the game."

Last week league commissioner David Stern said that a conference of European teams is at least another ten years in the making, and depends on a city's willingness to build a $300-400 million stadium.

Jordan became part owner of his hometown Charlotte Bobcats this year and plans to have a management role similar to the one he had with the Washington Wizards as a part-owner between 2000 and 2003.

"I will not necessarily be there daily," Jordan said. "My role will be to supervise everything that has to do with basketball, to help build a team that will eventually be capable of winning the championship.

"My experience in Washington is going to help me a lot in that."

Jordan also analyzed the struggles of the highly touted American team, which only managed to win a bronze medal at last month's world championships.

"It's obvious that European players master the fundamentals better. They have taken this aspect of the game to a heightened level.

"In the United States, we're too focused on the highlight reels, dunks and dishes. It's not that we don't have the players, but putting together a team is difficult under these conditions."

"But I think things are going in the right direction today."

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