One of the best things that has happened to the NBA during David Stern’s time as commissioner is how big basketball has become in international markets. Basketball is now a global sport; witness how competitive Olympic basketball has become since the days of the original Dream Team, the way China has taken to the NBA since Yao came over, or the fact that the Bucks’ starting lineup often contained players from five different continents last season. (Jennings/Delfino/Mbah a Moute/Ilysova/Bogut would be that lineup, in case you’re curious.)
David Stern knows how important overseas expansion is to the future of the NBA and basketball in general, and the announcement Stern made on Monday reflects that. According to the Associated Press, the Toronto Raptors and New Jersey Nets will play two regular-season games in London next season
NBA commissioner David Stern announced Monday that the Toronto Raptors and New Jersey Nets will play a pair of regular-season games in London this season.
The teams will face each other March 4 and 5 at the O2 Arena, the same venue that has hosted preseason games over the last several years.
Stern said on a conference call he wasn’t yet sure if the regular-season games would be an annual occurrence for the league.
“We’ll need to assess how we do in March,” Stern said. “It would not surprise me if this becomes an annual event. But I don’t want to make a commitment on it.”
The NBA has been looking to expand overseas for years, and Stern has said in the past he would like to play a meaningful game in London before the city hosts the Olympics in 2012.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Martin Schiller has been named coach of the Salt Lake City Stars, the Utah Jazz’s NBA G League affiliate.
Schiller previously served as an assistant coach of MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in Germany and replaces Dean Cooper. He was an assistant coach for the Artland Dragons from 2010-15.
Schiller has also been an assistant coach on the German National Team since 2015, where he worked with Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen.
Schiller hails from Vienna, Austria, and Stars vice president of basketball operations Bart Taylor lauded him for his international experience and player development background.
The Jazz organization is known to have close relationships with the international basketball community. The Jazz currently have eight international players.
BOSTON (AP) — Newly acquired guard Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 in Boston because the Celtics already have retired the numbers he wore in college and with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Irving wore No. 11 at two New Jersey high schools before switching to No. 1 at Duke. He wore No. 2 with the Cavaliers for the first six years of his NBA career.
The Celtics retired No. 1 for founder and original owner Walter Brown. They retired No. 2 for former coach and general manager Red Auerbach.
In all, the Celtics have retired 21 numbers, with Paul Pierce’s No. 34 next in line for the TD Garden rafters.
Everyone in the NBA — heck, nearly everyone living in the Western hemisphere — knew Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland. That should kill the Cavaliers’ leverage and make it hard to get enough quality back.
New GM Koby Altman — the guy thrust into the job when David Griffin was shown the door — pulled it off brilliantly.
That’s what I talk about in this new PBT Extra. With Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, the Cavaliers remain the team to beat in the East this season. The Brooklyn Nets pick gives them flexibility going forward, whatever LeBron James decides to do next season.
First time at the plate in the big leagues and Altman crushed it to straight away center field.
The Cavaliers and Celtics played in last year’s Eastern Conference finals. The teams were widely expected to meet there again.
Yet, Cleveland and Boston just completed a blockbuster trade – Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.
That seemed odd.
In fact, it’s unprecedented.
That is an incredible fact, one which speaks to LeBron James‘ cachet. The Cavs are emphasizing this season, LeBron’s last before a player option, by loading up with veterans Thomas and Crowder. With LeBron still reigning in Cleveland, the Celtics are delaying their peak by acquiring the younger Irving.
Adding to the intrigue: the Cavs and Celtics are still favored to meet in this year’s conference finals. At minimum, they’ll face off in a(n even more) highly anticipated opening-night matchup.