Tha Sports Junkies 101

NBA Teams To Host Australian NBL Teams For The First Time!

NBL Massimiliano Raposio/ via


NBA Global!

For the first time ever, three NBL teams will travel to the United States to face three NBA teams. The three representatives from the National Basketball League, Austalia’s premier basketball league, will play three NBA teams during the preseason in October. “This is a huge moment for Australian basketball,” said NBL Executive Chairman and Owner Larry Kestelman. “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.  For our teams to be chosen to come and play in the NBA preseason is a great endorsement of the NBL and Australian basketball”.

Kestelman made the official announcement last week. 80 players have played in both the NBA and NBL all-time. The most notable are Stephen Jackson, Patty Mills, Curtis Perry and Joe Ingles.


During the 2016-2017 season, there were eight Australian players on the 2016-17 opening night NBA rosters (record tying). Among those were Australian Nationa Team veterans Patty Mills (Spurs) and Joe Ingles (Jazz). The Sydney Kings will visit the Utah Jazz, featuring Australians Ingles and Danté Exum, on October 2 at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Melbourne United will meet the Oklahoma City Thunder on October 8 at Chesapeake Energy Arena.  The Brisbane Bullets will visit the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena on October 13.

“We are excited to welcome Melbourne United to Oklahoma City,” said Thunder GM Sam Presti.  “This event marks our third opportunity to host an international team in Chesapeake Energy Arena, and we are proud to help continue the advancement of the game through these competitions”. The Thunder previously hosted CSKA Moscow in 2010 and Fenerbahçe in 2015.

The NBL was established in 1978 and has eight teams based in cities across Australia.  Joe Ingles, who began his career in the National Basketball League, noted how massive a step this is for the NBL. “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”. Ingles played three seasons with the South Dragons of the NBL. The South Dragons disbanded in 2009 after just three seasons in the National Basketball League.


 NBA teams have played teams from Israel, China, Germany, Italy and many other countries. The first game between an NBA team and a team from another country occurred in 1978. The Washington Bullets lost to Maccabi Elite 98-97 in Tel Aviv, Israel.

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