Nets to take on Hawks in NBA Global game in London
The NBA announced on Tuesday that the Brooklyn Nets will take on the Atlanta Hawks in London on January 16.
This will be the fourth straight year that a regular season NBA game will take in London. The game will part of the NBA Global Games London according to Reuters.
Both teams had news releases about the upcoming international showcase on their sites, and both GMs had something to say.
“Playing in London will be a special experience for our players and coaches,” said Hawks’ President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry via the Hawks’ site. “And we are proud to represent Atlanta in front of an international audience.”
On the Brooklyn Nets site, Nets General Manager Billy King gave a similar sentiment.
“We are very excited to once again represent the NBA in London,” said King. “The fans have always been very supportive, and we look forward to once again entertaining them with Brooklyn Nets basketball.”
The Nets have played internationally two previous times. Two 2010 pre-season games in Beijing and Guangzhou. The Nets have made an effort to extend their brand globally, basically since Mikhail Prokhorov became the team’s owner in May 2010. Their dance team, the Brooklynettes, performed in seven different countries this past year, and the Brooklyn Nets have made their website available in Russian.
The Hawks have a history of international play as well. They played the Orlando Magic in the first preseason games in London on October 30 and 31, 1993. The NBA has played 12 games in London dating back to 1993. Atlanta also faced the Soviet National Team in the former Soviet Union three times back in July, 1988.
The game will be played at The 02 in London and will be the eight NBA game played their since 2007.
In another international contest, the Western Conference Champion San Antonio Spurs will play the Minnesota Timberwolves on December 4 in Mexico City as part of NBA Global Games Mexico City 2013.
With these two games added on to the schedule, a total of 10 NBA games being played internationally next season, two regular season and eight during the pre-season. The NBA Global games will be played across the world in cities such as Istanbul, Bilbao, Manila, Manchester, Taiwan, Rio de Janeiro, Beijing and Shanghai. These games will constitute the most games played by NBA teams internationally in a single season in the history of the NBA.
“With the addition of regular-season games in London and Mexico City, we will play one of the most comprehensive international games schedules in our history next season,” NBA Commissioner David Stern said.
“We will bring the NBA experience to more fans and provide showcases for basketball and the extraordinary talent of our players.”
The NBA has truly become a global brand.