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Spurs, Heat lead NBA teams heading overseas for preseason games next season

Apr 10, 2014, 4:19 PM EDT

Image (1) brazil-thumb-250x166-22220.jpg for post 6325

David Stern may be emeritus now but the NBA’s global ambitions are not — the NBA owners want those international dollars.

Meaning next preseason NBA teams are heading overseas again to spread the gospel of the NBA and the NBA announced the schedule Thursday.

First up Tony Parker, Tim Duncan (unless he retires) and the San Antonio Spurs will take on Alba Berlin in Germany Oct. 8, then travel to Istanbul, Turkey, to take on Fenerbahçe Ülker Istanbul Oct. 11. Gregg Popovich isn’t going to complain about this as much as you might imagine for a curmudgeon. For one thing, they make a fantastic Riesling in parts of Germany. Second, he likes travel. It’s sideline reporters that drive him nuts.

In a pre-Olympics showcase, the Cleveland Cavaliers will play the Miami Heat Oct. 11 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Even for the Heat’s usual standards that could be a good looking crowd — and you know they will be chanting all game.

The Brooklyn Nets and Sacramento Kings will make the NBA’s annual trip to China, playing Oct. 12 in Shanghai, then Oct. 15 in Beijing.

These are the teams of two owners really pushing to make their teams bigger international brands.

“We’re thrilled to bring the Kings experience back to our fans in China,” Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé said in a released statement. “Over 300 million Chinese men and women play basketball so there’s huge potential to connect with new and existing fans. We’ll be volunteering in the community, as well as utilizing technology and social media to share our trip with Kings fans around the world. We look forward to playing the Brooklyn Nets, who share our philosophy that basketball is the preeminent global sport of the 21st century.”

The NBA is clear and away the premier basketball league in the world and with the worldwide popularity of the sport the NBA is positioned to tap into an international market better than any other American sport. They would be foolish not to do this. Expect to see more of it, David Stern or no.

  1. onbucky96 - Apr 10, 2014 at 4:35 PM

    Hey, is that Christ The Avenger?

    • fanofthegame79 - Apr 10, 2014 at 6:55 PM

      Whatever the name is, that is one big statue! (It’s called Christ the Redeemer – I had to Google the name myself).

  2. clesportsfan - Apr 10, 2014 at 4:35 PM

    How do you fail to mention that Cleveland Cavaliers Andy Varejao is going back to his home country of Brazil to play? Instead, you decide to make reference to women in the Miami crowd vs. Brazil crowd – good story!

    • spursareold - Apr 10, 2014 at 5:56 PM

      Storyline will probably actually read: Varajao in street clothes on the bench in his home country, injured YET AGAIN.

  3. lilyen311 - Apr 10, 2014 at 4:42 PM

    Because every reporter dislikes Northeast Ohio. We should know that by now!

  4. rohlo - Apr 11, 2014 at 12:24 AM

    kings could play a whole season in china,they will never be more popular than the houston rockets over there.3 most popular teams in asia are the heat rockets and lakers….

  5. tomasekradek - Apr 11, 2014 at 4:40 AM

    If NBA really wants to spread across the world, it yould be nice to offer us in Europe more then just one or two games a week (only your national televised games on sunday). Rest of the games start from 1AM to 4.30AM, so it’s almost unwatchable for working people even if the games are on TV…. which often are not because nobody will watch it knowing he has to get up to work to hours later.

    I know that first of all, teams play for its own fans in US, it’s understandable and it’s right this way! But there are 82 games fans can watch during regular season and as i read it here, you often call them ‘meaningless’, so i suppose it doesn’t hurt that much to play few of them (at least in the eastern conference, where is ‘only’ 6 hours delay from most of Europe) for example on saturdays around 1-3PM and one game a week during the workweek. Is it really to much to miss two or three games out of 82??

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