Since 2011, the NBA has played at least one regular season game outside of the United States. They initially started in London and now they have some games in Mexico as well. I always thought that the best way to grow the game internationally is if the biggest stars come out and put on a show.
The big teams seldom ever take part in these games so I guess who ever is in charge of the scheduling knows a thing or two that I don’t know. The game that took place in London on the 12th of January was between the Indiana Pacers and the Denver Nuggets. Neither team particularly excite me and save for Paul George,there was only a handful of all star appearances amongst the other players.
I tuned in to at least catch some competitive basketball which to be fair I got until midway through the second half when the Pacers decided to stop trying. It was turn over after turn over, no defense, no intensity whatsoever even with that, they were only about 13 points down. The nuggets blew the game open at the start of the third quarter and with 3 minutes left, they were up by more than 30 points. At that point, I decided it would be best to stop watching and pick up where I left off with Daredevil.
I checked in this morning and saw that the Nuggets won by 28 points. The Night’s other (international) game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Phoenix Suns took place in Mexico and was a much more even contest. Although both the Suns and Mavericks have both had a sub par season, they served up a decent game and featured one of the top 20 players of all time (in my opinion) Dirk Nowitzki.
Although the quality of the game in London was questionable, I’d say the whole thing was a success judging by the noises out of the NBA itself and the basketball media. The Suns also play the Spurs in Mexico tomorrow.
I like how American Sports shamelessly exploit their popularity by doing whatever it takes to grow their audience and I really think the premier league can learn a thing or two from them. The world is changing and you have to adapt or you won’t grow.
That’s it from me!