NBA Europe Live
As if the NBA and its players have not received enough European and foreign press already, the NBA has set up its NBA Europe Live tour again for this upcoming preseason. Michael Beasley and the Heat will start the tour off in Paris against the New Jersey Nets. Chris Paul and the New Orleans Hornets are set to play two games in Europe in their preseason. The Hornets will face the Washington Wizards on October 14 at the O2 World in Berlin, Germany. N.O. will end the NBA Europe Live tour at Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona, Spain on October 17th, before opening up against the Golden State Warriors. The New Jersey Nets, Miami Heat, and Washington Wizards will also play preseason games in Barcelona, Berlin, London and Paris in October as part of an event hosted by EA SPORTS™.
Last year’s NBA Europe Live games drew more than 10.3 million viewers and 75,000 spectators. This is the third consecutive year that NBA teams are heading overseas to play. The games originally were a way to expand the influence of the NBA and attract foreign players and viewers. After the USA played China in their opening round Olympic game, you could see that It certainly did just that in China. The Chinese love the NBA and its stars, and have made Yao Ming a national hero and spokesman.
The recent splurge of NBA players heading overseas only shows how competitive the NBA is. Athletes leave the league either for financial reasons or because they can play more and dominate overseas. They have a completely different role than they did in the NBA. The NBA is still a great goal for many foreign players and will remain to be the ultimate platform for basketball players worldwide. Despite the different rules, the level of play is clearly the highest and winning an NBA ring is valued more than even an Olympic medal to some ballers.