Australian NBL teams will travel to the United States in October to face some of the best from the NBA.
In a massive coup for the sport in Australia, Melbourne United, the Sydney Kings and the Brisbane Bullets will travel to the States to face off against NBA teams for their pre-season.
The Kings are up first and will face the Utah Jazz, who feature Australians Joe Ingles and Dante Exum, on October 2.
United will then take on Oklahoma City Thunder, home to the likes of Paul George, Russell Westbrook and Steven Adams, on the 8th.
And finally, on October 13, the Brisbane Bullets will meet the Phoenix Suns.
However, both the United and Bullets games will take place in the US while the NBL regular season gets back underway in Australia.
“This is a huge moment for Australian basketball. For the NBL to be able to play some of the biggest teams in the world shows how far our league has come. I want to thank the NBA for this exciting opportunity to showcase the NBL on the world stage," said NBL Executive Chairman and owner Larry Kestelman.
“For our teams to be chosen to come and play in the NBA preseason is a great endorsement of the NBL and Australian basketball. We currently have a number of Australians playing in the NBA, strong national teams in the Boomers and Opals, record participation levels and a flourishing national competition. This opportunity will only build more excitement ahead of the NBL season starting on Oct. 5.”
Joe Ingles added: “This is massive for Australian basketball and an exciting opportunity for NBA and NBL players to compete together on the same floor. As an Aussie who began my career in the NBL and now entering my fourth season with Utah, I am very proud of the growth of the game in my home country and can’t wait for the Jazz and Salt Lake City to play host to Sydney this fall.”
Full NBA-NBL Preseason Game Schedule:
October 2, 2017 – Utah Jazz vs Sydney Kings @ Vivint Smart Home Arena
October 8, 2017 – Oklahoma City Thunder vs Melbourne United @ Chesapeake Energy Arena
October 13, 2017 – Phoenix Suns vs Brisbane Bullets @ Talking Stick Resort Arena