The Celtics will take part in the upcoming preseason edition of the NBA Global Games when they travel to Italy to take on Olimpia Milano on October 6. The game will be one of at least two international matchups for Boston in 2015-16, as they will play a regular season game against the Sacramento Kings in Mexico City on December 3. Another preseason game against recently crowned Euroleague champion Real Madrid is reportedly in the works as well, but has not been officially confirmed.
Olimpia has won a record 26 Lega Basket Serie A championships, including the most recent one, and three Euroleague titles. They are currently down 2-1 in the Italian league semifinals and made it to the Top 16 in the 2014-15 Euroleague.
Their roster features some familiar faces. Celtics draftee MarShon Brooks, who played just 10 games for Boston last season, averaged 12.8 points in 24 Euroleague games this season. Lithuanian small forward Linas Kleiza played seven seasons in the NBA with the Nuggets and Raptors, and Jamaican power forward Samardo Samuels spent parts of three years with the Cavaliers.
Olimpia also has an NBA prospect in swingman Alessandro Gentile, the 53rd pick in last year's draft by the Timberwolves, whose rights are now owned by the Rockets, and two players with Massachusetts ties: big man Shawn James, who attended Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg and then went to Northeastern for two years before transferring to Duquesne, and point guard Joe Ragland, a West Springfield native and Wichita State grad.
The C's have played four games against foreign teams. In 1988 they beat the legendary Yugoslavia national team and Real Madrid to win the McDonald's Championship. If you have 90 minutes to spend watching Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish and company versus Vlade Divac, Stojko Vranković et al., enjoy:
Their second visit to Europe was in 2012 as part of the Europe Live Tour, when they lost to Turkish team Fenerbahçe, then bounced back with a 30-point beatdown of Olimpia. The stage is now set for a rematch at the Mediolanum Forum.
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Photo credit: Savino Paolella/SportBestPhoto Nick García 6/03/2015 01:16:00 PM Tweet Edit