NBA to stage two pre-season games in Mumbai next October
The National Basketball Association (NBA) Thursday announced the Indiana Pacers and the Sacramento Kings will play in two pre-season games in Mumbai in October 2019, marking the first matches the popular US-based league stages in India.
The NBA India Games 2019 would take place October 4 and October 5 at the NSCI Dome in Worli, announced NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum and NBA India Managing Director Yannick Colaco here.
In addition to the games, the league and its partners would conduct interactive fan activities, Jr NBA youth basketball programming and NBA Cares community outreach events.
The Kings, under the leadership of the NBAs first Indian-born majority owner and Mumbai native Vivek Ranadive, currently features 2018 No. 2 overall draft pick Marvin Bagley III, 2017 No. 5 overall draft pick De'Aaron Fox and 2016 No. 6 overall draft pick Buddy Hield (Bahamas).
The Pacers roster currently features 2018 NBA All- Star Victor Oladipo, 2016 NBA All-Rookie second team member Myles Turner and 2016 No. 11 overall draft pick Domantas Sabonis (Lithuania).
"Our inaugural NBA India Games will help further untap the enormous basketball potential in a country with a thriving sports culture and a growing, young and engaged population.
"We thank the Kings and Pacers organisations for participating in this historic event," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a media release.
"We are proud to be the first global sports league to bring games of this scale to India. The NBA and basketball have never been more popular in India, and fans will get to enjoy world-class showcases for our sport between two exciting teams in the Sacramento Kings and the Indiana Pacers," said Colaco.
Ranadive said his team is looking forward to playing in the first NBA games in India.
"The Sacramento Kings are proud to be playing in the first NBA games ever held in India. As an Indian-American, it is an honour to help bring this historic moment to the country where I was raised," said Ranadive.
"We are thrilled to be one of the first two teams to play the first-ever game in India and proud to be part of the expanding NBA worldwide footprint of our game of basketball," said Simon.