The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Euroleague Basketball have announced that three Euroleague teams will compete in five NBA preseason games from October 10-21, 2008. The five games, which are part of the Euroleague American Tour, will be played by 2008 Euroleague champion CSKA Moscow (Russia), FC Barcelona (Spain) and Lietuvos Rytas (Lithuania). The teams may face up to five NBA opponents including the Golden State Warriors, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Orlando Magic, the Toronto Raptors and possibly the Los Angeles Clippers.
“These games continue our collaboration with Euroleague Basketball, as we work together to grow the game of basketball on a global basis,” said NBA Commissioner David Stern.
The Euroleague American Tour continues a tradition of friendly competition between the NBA and Euroleague Basketball, dating back to 1978 when Maccabi Tel Aviv played the Washington Bullets in Tel Aviv, Israel. Following the 2008 preseason schedule, 33 games will have been played between the two leagues since Euroleague Basketball was created in 2000, including 13 games during NBA Europe Live presented by EA SPORTS™ in 2006 and 2007.
“We value the chance to partner with NBA teams in their own arenas,” Euroleague Basketball CEO Jordi Bertomeu said. “There are basketball fans of all types in North America whom we plan to entertain with our own distinct playing style. We are sure they will appreciate again that the international game has a lot to offer our sport.”
The Euroleague American Tour tips off on Oct. 10 in Orlando, Florida, when six-time Euroleague champion CSKA Moscow makes its North American debut against the Orlando Magic. CSKA’s second preseason game will take place in Toronto, Canada, when CSKA plays the Toronto Raptors on Oct. 14.
FC Barcelona play two games as part of the Preseason Shootout at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, Calif. The 2008 NBA Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers will be Barcelona’s first opponent on Oct. 18, followed by the either Los Angeles Clippers or Toronto Raptors on Oct. 19. For Barcelona, founded in 1926, the games in Los Angeles will be their first played in the United States.
ORACLE Arena in Oakland, Calif. will be the final site of the Euroleague’s American Tour when the Golden State Warriors hosts Lietuvos Rytas on Oct. 21. Rytas is the 2005 ULEB Cup champion and hold five Lithuanian League crowns.
For the third consecutive year, NBA teams will participate in preseason games abroad. The Miami Heat, New Jersey Nets, New Orleans Hornets and Washington Wizards will play four games in Barcelona, Berlin, London and Paris as part of NBA Europe Live 2008.