By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
The globalization of the game
NORTH CAROLINA (BASN)-The NBA continues to expand its brand overseas by reaching more international countries with its recent announcement that the Brooklyn Nets, who are owned by Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokorov, will be playing the Atlanta Hawks at London’s O2 arena on January 16 during the regular season, which will be a part of the NBA’s Global Games of London 2014.
London, however, won’t be the only place the NBA will be bouncing its basketballs, because the San Antonio Spurs are set to play the Minnesota Timberwolves, which include the Italian superstar Ricky Rubio, Russian-bornAndrei Kirilenko and Alexey Shved, Nikola Pekovic, and Puerto Rican baller JJ Barea, in Mexico City as well, at the Mexico City Arena on Dec.4.
These games are ground-breaking because it will be the first time two NBA regular season games will be played in two countries outside of the United States and Canada at the same time.
With the recent announcement of the games in London and Mexico City, it brings the NBA’s global expansion package next season to 12 teams, which include playing 10 regular-season and preseason games in eight cities in six countries and territories.
Not surprisingly, the San Antonio Spurs are a part of this globalization deal, especially when you considered all the international superstars presence on this year’s Western Conference Championship roster.
They include point guard Tony Parker from France, center Tim Duncan from the Virgin Islands, shooting guard Manu Ginobili from Argentina, PF Boris Diew also from France, center Tiago Splitter from Brazil, Australia’s Patty Mills , Canada’s Cory Joseph and former Nigerian international Ime Udoka – who is on the coaching staff for the Spurs.
Yes, the game of basketball has become global, due to the, superstar power of Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, and Shaquielle O’Neal.
But also due to Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki in Dallas, Yao Ming in Houston, Serge Ibaka in Oklahoma City, Marc and Pau Gasol in (Memphis and Lakers).
And even, Jeremy Lin in Houston.