NBA India Games 2019: From biggest names on court to Indian connection, all you need to know about showpiece games

With 10 days to go for the NBA India Games, here’s a ready reckoner on what fans can expect from the basketball showpiece between Sacramento Kings and Indiana Pacers.

FP Sports October 04, 2019 15:21:51 IST
NBA India Games 2019: From biggest names on court to Indian connection, all you need to know about showpiece games
  • The Indiana Pacers and the Sacramento Kings will be playing in the first-ever NBA India Games.

  • Indiana Pacers and the Sacramento Kings will play two games on 4 and 5 October in Mumbai.

  • The owner of Sacramento Kings is Vivek Ranadive, who was born and grew up in Mumbai.

For the first time ever, two teams from the NBA — the Indiana Pacers and the Sacramento Kings — will travel to India to take part in the first-ever NBA India Games later this month.

The Pacers were swept 4-0 by the Boston Celtics in Round 1 of the Eastern Conference Playoffs after finishing regular season in fifth position, while the Sacramento Kings were one rank below the eight Playoff spots in the uber-competitive Western Conference.

NBA India Games 2019 From biggest names on court to Indian connection all you need to know about showpiece games

Sacramento Kings' De'Aaron Fox (5) will be one of the biggest names in attendance at the NBA India Games next month. AP Photo

With 10 days to go for the NBA India Games, here’s a ready reckoner of what fans can expect from the basketball showpiece:

What are the NBA India Games?

The NBA India Games are exhibition games played in India. For these games, two teams from the NBA will be travelling to India to play in front of Indian audiences for the first time ever.

Which teams will be competing at the NBA India Games?

The Indiana Pacers and the Sacramento Kings will be playing in the first-ever NBA India Games.

How many games will be played?

Indiana Pacers and the Sacramento Kings will be playing two games — on 4 October (Friday) and 5 October (Saturday).

Where will the NBA India Games be played?

Both games will be played at the Dome, in Mumbai’s NSCI Stadium. While the first game has been reserved for 3,000 boys and girls from over 70 schools under the Reliance Foundation Jr NBA program, fans can buy tickets for the second game on Saturday.

Why Mumbai?

The NBA chose Mumbai since the city is the home of Bollywood. The league wants to use the influence of Bollywood stars like Ranveer Singh and Abhishek Bachchan to gain eyeballs for the league's showpiece games. Although, the names of Bollywood celebrities in attendance for the games is not confirmed yet.

Will the NBA India Games be broadcast?

Yes. Both games will air on SONY TEN 1 and TEN 3 at 6:30 pm.

What’s the big deal about the NBA India Games?

The NBA India Games will mark the first games that teams from a North American sports league will play in India. The NBA India Games will also be the first time that NBA will be bringing two teams to India to play pre-season exhibition games — signalling its belief that India is a key market for the league. The league has already invested in the grassroots infrastructure in India for many years. Since 2006, many current and former NBA players have made the trip to India to promote the league. This includes Kevin Garnett, Dwight Howard (who currently plays for LA Lakers), Pau Gasol, Chris Bosh and Kevin Durant (who currently plays for Brooklyn Nets).

The NBA opened an office in Mumbai in 2011 and, in May 2017 opened the NBA Academy India, an elite basketball training centre in Delhi NCR for the top male and female prospects from across India.

In 2013, the NBA also launched the Reliance Foundation Junior NBA program that has reached youth from 10,000 schools.

Who are the biggest names that will take the court for the NBA India Games?

Both the Indiana Pacers and the Sacramento Kings have young rosters, with plenty of rising stars in their ranks.

The Sacramento Kings’ roster features 2018’s No 2 overall draft pick Marvin Bagley III, 2017's No 5 overall draft pick De’Aaron Fox and 2016's No 6 overall draft pick Buddy Hield.

The Indiana Pacers, meanwhile, have 2018 NBA All-Star Victor Oladipo, 2016 NBA All-Rookie second team member Myles Turner and 2016's No 11 overall draft pick Domantas Sabonis.

Is there an Indian connection to either team?

The owner of Sacramento Kings is Vivek Ranadive, who was born in Mumbai and grew up in the city. He took over the ownership of the Kings in 2013, and since then has lobbied for the NBA to go to India for exhibition games.

So, does the NBA take teams to other countries as well?

NBA teams have been travelling abroad to play games since 1978.

In July 1978, the Washington Bullets travelled to Israel to play against Maccabi Tel Aviv, in what was the first trip for an NBA team outside USA to play exhibition games. The following year, the Bullets travelled to China, on invitation from China premier Deng Xiaoping, and the Philippines. Since then, NBA teams have travelled to West Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Soviet Republic of Georgia, Lithuania, Russia, Japan, France, Mexico, England, Puerto Rico, Spain, among other countries.

The NBA went to China in 2004, two years after Yao Ming was drafted by Houston Rockets. The NBA has sent teams to China regularly since then.

In 2011, the NBA's New Jersey Nets and Toronto Raptors played a regular season game in London, the first time teams from NBA were doing so in Europe.

The Global Games were officially unveiled in 2013. 12 NBA teams went abroad in 2013-14. Since then, the NBA Global Games have been held in Bilbao, Manchester, Manila, Rio de Janeiro, Taipei, Beijing, Shanghai, Berlin, Istanbul, Milan, Madrid, Shenzhen (China), Rio de Janeiro, and Barcelona.

This year, while the Sacramento Kings and Indiana Pacers travel to India for the NBA India Games, Houston Rockets and Toronto Raptors will head to Japan while the star-studded Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers face off in China.

The Dallas Mavericks will take on LA Clippers in Canada.

You can Live-stream all action between Indian Pacers and Sacramento Kings on JioTV

Updated Date:

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