As part of the NBA Global Games schedule, the Bucks will travel to England next season to take on the Knicks on Jan. 15. The game, to be played at The O2 in London, is one of two regular season games taking place outside of the United States next season. The other pits the Rockets against the Timberwolves in Mexico City on Nov. 12.
In addition to two regular season games, the NBA will ramp up its global initiative during the preseason, with five teams – Brooklyn, Cleveland, Miami, Sacramento and San Antonio – playing a series of exhibitions in Brazil, China, Germany and Turkey.
Per the league’s press release:
As part of the NBA’s effort to connect with its fans globally, NBA Global Games 2014-15 now includes a total of nine NBA teams playing seven regular-season and preseason games in seven cities in six countries.
“While London and Mexico City each have their own unique culture, they both have rich sports traditions and share a great passion for the NBA,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “These regular-season games will bring the excitement and incredible competition of our league to more fans in Europe and Latin America.”
The four teams participating in the regular-season portion of NBA Global Games reflect the strong international makeup of the league. At the end of the 2013-14 regular season, the Bucks, Knicks, Rockets, and Timberwolves featured a combined 18 international players from 17 countries on their rosters.
Along with the oncourt action, NBA Global Games 2014-15 will feature a variety of off-the-court activities, including NBA Cares community programs and interactive fan events in each city. The games will also be supported by a variety of marketing and merchandising partners, while fans will be able to get real time updates through the NBA Game Time App, on NBA.com, and NBA social media channels, and watch globally on television and digital media, including NBA LEAGUE PASS International.
So, I guess this is kind of cool, right? A little global exposure never hurt anyone. The Bucks currently have five international players – Carlos Delfino, Miroslav Raduljica, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Ersan Ilyasova, Zaza Pachulia – under contract for next season, so it makes sense. Although I’m not sure these are the two teams the NBA wants projecting its on-court image right now.
Either way, it will be the Bucks’ first ever regular season game played outside of the United States.