The previous two years have seen NBL teams play NBA teams in the preseason and it will continue next season. The NBA and NBL made the announcement recently.
The Adelaide 36ers,Melbourne United, and SKY Sports New Zealand Breakers of the NBL will play a total of five preseason games against the Los Angeles Clippers , Utah Jazz, Sacramento Kings, Oklahoma City Thunder and Memphis Grizzlies from October 6-17.
NBL Chief Executive Jeremy Loeliger had this to say of the continuation of the interleague preseason games:
That this series is now heading into a third consecutive year is a reflection of the strength of partnership between the NBL and the NBA and the incredible growth and success of basketball in Australia and New Zealand. The NBL is now one of the premier basketball leagues in the world outside the NBA and we can’t wait for October.
Francesco Suarez, Vice President of Global Partnerships, NBA Asia was very complementary of Australian basketball and he also put over games between the NBA and NBL:
“There’s never been a better time to be a basketball fan in Australia and New Zealand. Excitement around the game is an all-time high, and for the third consecutive year, fans can look forward to a competitive series of games featuring some of the best players in the NBL and NBA.”
The series tips off with the Utah Jazz and the Adelaide 36ers Sunday October 6 from the Vivint Smart Home Arena.
Wednesday October 9 the SKY Sports New Zealand Breakers will take on the Memphis Grizzlies at FedEx Forum, then head to Oklahoma City for a matchup with the Thunder.
The last two games feature the Melbourne United taking on the Los Angeles Clippers Monday October 14 and culminating with a game against the Sacramento Kings at the Golden Center October 17.
This past season there 15 players from Australia and New Zealand on NBA rosters. They were : Steven Adams (Oklahoma City Thunder), Deng Adel (Cleveland Cavaliers), Aron Baynes (Boston Celtics), Andrew Bogut (Golden State Warriors), Jonah Bolden (Philadelphia 76ers), Ryan Broekhoff (Dallas Mavericks), Mitch Creek (Minnesota Timberwolves), Matthew Dellavedova (Cleveland Cavaliers), Dante Exum (Utah Jazz), Isaac Humphries (Atlanta Hawks), Joe Ingles (Utah Jazz), Kyrie Irving (Boston Celtics), Thon Maker (Detroit Pistons), Patty Mills (San Antonio Spurs), Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers).