NBL teams to play pre-season games v NBA teams in first step to bringing an NBA game to Australia

Source: @GregDavis_cmail on twitter

This morning the NBA and NBL have announced that Sydney Kings, Brisbane Bullets and Melbourne United will travel to the United States in October for a series of NBA pre-season games.

The Sydney Kings will take on the Utah Jazz, on Oct. 2, followed by Melbourne United meeting the Oklahoma City Thunder on Oct. 8 and finally the Brisbane Bullets play the Phoenix Suns on Oct. 13.

“We are excited for the NBL to participate in the 2017 NBA preseason.” said NBA Asia Managing Director Scott Levy. “Australia has proven to be a basketball powerhouse with a growing number of its players making their mark in the NBA and on the global stage.

“Australia remains one of our largest international markets for merchandise sales and NBA LEAGUE PASS, and these games mark a milestone moment for our two leagues.””

The NBA rosters could feature a number of former NBL players including Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles and Oklahoma City Thunder rookie Terrance Ferguson.

“This is massive for Australian basketball and an exciting opportunity for NBA and NBL players to compete together on the same floor,” Ingles said. ” As an Aussie who began my career in the NBL and now entering my fourth season with Utah, I am very proud of the growth of the game in my home country and can’t wait for the Jazz and Salt Lake City to play host to Sydney this fall.”

It is understood that these three pre-season games are the first step in the NBL’s goal to bring NBA teams out to Australia sometime over the next couple of years to take on NBL teams in pre-season. If these games go well and the NBL can continue to work on their relationship with the NBA, that goal could become a reality sooner rather than later.

“This is a huge moment for Australian basketball,” said NBL Executive Chairman Larry Kestelman. “For the NBL to be able to play some of the biggest teams in the world shows how far our league has come.

“I want to thank the NBA for this exciting opportunity to showcase the NBL on the world stage.  For our teams to be chosen to come and play in the NBA preseason is a great endorsement of the NBL and Australian basketball.”

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