With the Pacers and Kings wrapping up two games in India, our NBA preseason is starting to get going in and out of the U.S.A. The two games in Mumbai that the Kings and Pacers played are two of the ten NBA games played outside of the United States. Three of these games are in the regular season, where international fans get to see regular season action from the best basketball league in the world. Those games are:
December 12: Detroit Pistons and Dallas Mavericks in Mexico City, Mexico
December 14: San Antonio Spurs and Phoenix Suns in Mexico City, Mexico
January 24: Charlotte Hornets and Milwaukee Bucks in Paris, France
These international games give fans from those places the chance to see the talent that is the NBA in their own homeland, instead of taking a trip to the U.S. just to see NBA basketball. Global games are also a great way to get kids from everywhere to be involved in the NBA culture. This introduces them a little bit more to how special the NBA stage really is.
The NBA has done a great job connecting their own league and people from all across the world. The Basketball Without Borders program that the NBA and FIBA teamed up to start has been promoting basketball throughout the world. Plenty of teams and players have gone to hold camps and clinics outside of the country in an effort to unify the sport worldwide.
Having games and events in other countries really expands the love for the game globally, but it also increases viewership by getting more people to tune in, and it grows fan bases from not just in the U.S. Other leagues have started to do this, the NFL has been expanding the amount of games in London and baseball took a trip across the pond in the premiere of what should be an annual MLB series in London. Connecting the best athletes in the world to many different countries has brought a great diverse growth of love for the sports that are popular in America. The NBA continues to grow across the world, and the international connection basketball has will only get stronger.
- Kevin Barnett