The NBA and the NBL have announced that for the third consecutive year, NBL teams will travel to the U.S. to participate in the NBA preseason.
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Three NBL teams, the Adelaide 36ers, Melbourne United and SKY Sport New Zealand Breakers, will play a total of five games against the L.A. Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies, Oklahoma City Thunder, Sacramento Kings and Utah Jazz, from Oct. 6-17 as part of the 2019 NBA preseason. The broadcast schedule in Australia and New Zealand will be announced at a later date.
“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,” said NBL Chief Executive Jeremy Loeliger. “The NBL is now one of the premier basketball leagues in the world outside the NBA and we can’t wait for October.”
“There’s never been a better time to be a basketball fan in Australia and New Zealand,” said Francesco Suarez, Vice President of Global Partnerships, NBA Asia. “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 first game of the series features the Adelaide 36ers against the Utah Jazz on Sunday Oct. 6 at the Vivint Smart Home Arena. The Jazz roster currently includes two Australians in Dante Exum and Joe Ingles.
On Wednesday Oct. 9, the SKY Sport New Zealand Breakers will play Memphis Grizzlies at the FedEXForum, followed by a matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday Oct. 11. The Thunder are led by New Zealand center Steven Adams and former NBL player Terrance Ferguson.
The schedule culminates with two games featuring Melbourne United, with United going up against the L.A. Clippers on Monday Oct. 14 at STAPLES Center, followed by a game against the Sacramento Kings on Thursday Oct. 17 at Golden 1 Center.
Fifteen players from Australia and New Zealand were on NBA team rosters during the 2018-19 season, including: 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).