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NBA News: India likely to host 2019 preseason game as part of China leg

Yash Matange
374   //    08 Oct 2018, 09:48 IST

2018 NBA Finals - Commissioner Adam Silver Press Conference
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver

What's the story?

The NBA is expected to play a preseason game in India next year and as per reports, the two teams involved seem to be the Indiana Pacers and the Sacramento Kings.

In case you didn't know...

League Commissioner Adam Silver had mentioned the possibility of this happening in August at the Jr. NBA World Championships.

The heart of the matter

Reporting from China, NBA reporter for ESPN Tim MacMahon, who majorly covers the Dallas Mavericks, tweeted the news of the league's extra plans next year during the preseason as part of their Global Games series.

Given the Vivek Ranadive's (co-owner and chairman of the Sacramento Kings) connection with India, it should come as no surprise that the Kings would be one of the countries that would be involved in this Dubai/India leg of their China trip.

An interesting retweet spilled the beans who the other team could be to make this trip - the Indiana Pacers.

In the interview, on the sidelines at the Jr. NBA World Championships, Adam Silver mentioned having a good relationship with the Reliance Foundation in India and possibly playing in Mumbai.

"We had India represented here. We have an academy on the ground now. We are potentially looking to play a game in Mumbai, may be next year. It would be a pre-season game," Silver told PTI on the sidelines of the Jr NBA World Championships.
"We are very focused on the Indian market. We have a great relationship with Reliance and Mukesh Ambani and he and his wife's foundation. There is enormous amount of grass root basketball being played in India," Silver said.

What's next?

Being the country's financial capital and the fact that Silver mentioned the city, Mumbai does hold the lead to host the game but it's important to note that it's Bangalore that easily has the most used-arena for basketball - the Sree Kanteerva Indoor Stadium. The league could also host in Greater Noida, where the NBA Academy is based.

So far, nothing official has been announced. Stay tuned to this space for the latest.

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