AUSTRALIA'S NBL PULLS OFF MAJOR DEAL WITH NORTH AMERICA'S NBA TO PLAY IN THE US

Written on the 1 August 2017 by Ben Hall

AUSTRALIA'S NBL PULLS OFF MAJOR DEAL WITH NORTH AMERICA'S NBA TO PLAY IN THE US
The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Basketball League (NBL) today announced that the Brisbane Bullets, Sydney Kings and Melbourne United will take part in the 2017 NBA preseason in October, marking the first time that NBL teams will travel to the US to play against NBA teams.

The NBA is the world's premier basketball league based in North America and the NBL is Australasia's league which was formed in 1978 and now has eight teams, including the New Zealand Breakers, and the deal is a major coup for the sport in Australia.

The Sydney Kings will visit the Utah Jazz, featuring Australians Joe Ingles (pictured) and Dante Exum, on 2 October at Vivint Smart Home Arena, followed by Melbourne United meeting the Oklahoma City Thunder on 8 October at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

The Brisbane Bullets will visit the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena on 13 October.                                                                              

There were a record-tying eight Australian players on 2016-17 opening night NBA rosters, including Ingles and Patty Mills (San Antonio Spurs), both of whom previously played in the NBL.
"This is a huge moment for Australian basketball," says NBL owner and 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," Kestelman says.

"For our teams to be chosen to come and play in the NBA preseason is a great endorsement of the NBL and Australian basketball."

The NBA's Asia managing director Scott Levy says the decision to host the NBL clubs was based on the strength of the game Down Under.

"We are excited for the NBL to participate in the 2017 NBA preseason," Levy says.

"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 NBL is undergoing a major resurgence since it demerged from Basketball Australia in 2013. Shortly after Larry Kestelman, property developer and the co-founder of Dodo, which sold for $230 million in the same year, bought the league.

Since then, crowd numbers, TV viewers, website visits and app downloads have all increased. Prior to that, in 2008 and 2009, teams from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Singapore all folded because of financial difficulties.

Business News Australia

 
Author: Ben Hall

BOOK YOUR FUNCTION SPACE HERE

 

 

 

Contact us

Email News Update Sign Up Contact Details
Subscriptions

PO Box 2087
Brisbane QLD 4001

LoginTell a FriendSign Up to Newsletter