The NBA has done a tremendous job over the last few years in raising the game’s popularity overseas. Because of its international appeal, the NBA and Anschutz Entertainment Group announced Thursday that the Indiana Pacers and Denver Nuggets will play a regular season on January 12, 2017, at the O2 in London, England.
Larry Bird, the president of the Pacers, released a statement on the league’s decision, “The Indiana Pacers are excited and really look forward to playing in London.” He continued, “It’s not only exciting for our players, but our franchise. It’s a great opportunity for more NBA exposure overseas and we’re very pleased for the Pacers to be part of that exposure”
Exciting for the franchise, indeed, as this will be the first ever international regular season game that the Pacers will be playing in, according to the Pacers official website on NBA.com. The franchise has gone overseas in the past to places like Spain, China, Taiwan, Germany, and the Philipines, but all of those games were preseason.
This is all possible because of the NBA Global Games, a division of the league that works at getting the NBA into countries that it hasn’t yet been. Along with the game that will be played, the Global Games hosts various off-court activities for the community, and NBA Cares will be there as well adding to the festivities.