Since the 1970s, the NBA has made playing around the world a priority to expose the greatest players to as big an audience as possible, and to this day, the NBA has stayed true to that commitment.
On June 3, the NBA, in association with Euroleague Basketball and RCS Sports, announced that the Boston Celtics will challenge the Italian League Champions, Olimpia Milano, in Milan, Italy on October 6, representing the 2015 NBA Global Games in Europe.
Additionally, the Celtics are slated to play a rare regular season internationally, when they take on the Sacramento Kings in Mexico City on December 3. When the NBA plays games overseas, it’s always a notable event, so when they play meaningful basketball that actually counts towards the regular season, it’s essentially a must-see attraction. As a result, ticket prices for this contest are currently averaging $322.60, with a get in price of $41.35, according to Ticketbis.
Unfortunately, the likes of LeBron James, Kevin Durant, or even Anthony Davis won’t make an appearance in the game against Olimpia but the matchup itself should be fun and competitive. There’s no telling who will don the jerseys of one of the most respected franchises in NBA history, boasting 17-championships, but the players expected to suit up feature underrated guard Isaiah Thomas, All-Rookie second team member Marcus Smart, Evan Turner and Jared Sullinger, among others.
For the Italian League champions, former NBA players MarShon Brooks, Linas Kleiza and Samardo Samuels lead a team that also has Alessandro Gentile, a native of Italy who was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves last year and won the Italian League’s Finals MVP in 2014.
“It’s an honor to play against an NBA team, especially one so rich in tradition like the Boston Celtics, in front of our home crowd,” Gentile said to NBA.com. “As a player and as a team, it is a great opportunity to measure ourselves against a terrific team. We are looking forward to the game and will try our best to be competitive and give our fans a reason to be proud of us.”
With the NBA being the best basketball league in the world, those who have been snubbed by the ‘Association will get their chance to showcase their talents, or maybe show off some of their skills to an NBA audience for the very first time.
Furthermore, other NBA games scheduled for the international setting include the Los Angeles Clippers vs. the Charlotte Hornets in Shenzhen and in Shanghai, China, on October 11 and 14, respectively, followed by the Orlando Magic vs. Flamengo in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil on October 17.
The game is evolving and the only way for the NBA to possibly reach the heights soccer has attained throughout the globe is to fly internationally.