This October, Australia’s National Basketball League will have three teams go head-to-head with their NBA counterparts.
In a report from ESPN.com, the Syndey Kings, Melbourne United and Brisbane Bullets will face off against the Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder and Phoenix Suns, respectively, in preseason action.
“This is a huge moment for Australian basketball,” said NBL boss 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 the exciting opportunity to showcase the NBL on the world stage.”
Australia isn’t a pipeline for NBA talent, but last season featured six players who have the Land Down Under as their birthplace: Andrew Bogut, Patty Mills, Kyrie Irving, Matthew Dellavedova, Joe Ingles and Dante Exum. Additionally, Terrance Ferguson, the 21st overall pick in the 2017 draft, skipped college and spent one year with the Adelaide 36ers. Luc Longley, a key piece of three Chicago Bulls championship, is also an Aussie.
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The NBA’s attempt at global expansion is nothing new. They’ve hosted various contests on other continents and having so many talented players from other countries only makes it easy to appeal to other markets.
Utah and Sydney kick off the action on Oct. 3. Five days later, the Thunder and Melbourne United will compete in Oklahoma City, and the Bullets and Suns close out the series on Oct. 13 in Phoenix.
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