Team USA finishes 4th in 2023 FIBA World Cup

The United States conceded an overtime thriller to Canada, falling 127-118 in the third-place game at the FIBA Men’s World Cup in Manila, Philippines. The U.S. finished the tournament in fourth-place.

Starting Out: The United States used its third starting lineup of the tournament: Jalen Brunson, Anthony Edwards, Mikal Bridges, Josh Hart and Walker Kessler. Paolo Banchero, Brandon Ingram and Jaren Jackson Jr. did not play due to illness.

Worth Noting: With today’s 127-118 overtime loss, the falls to 7-1 all-time vs. Canada in the FIBA Men’s World Cup. The U.S. is now 3-1 in third-place games at this event. A total of 245 points were scored tonight, making it the second-highest scoring game ever in the FIBA World Cup (251 points, Brazil and China, 1978).

100+ Club: With tonight’s 118 points scored, the U.S. averaged 104.5 points per game during the FIBA Men’s World Cup. Only twice before a team ended a World Cup tournament with 100+ points per game in the 21st century – the USA in 2006 (103.6 ppg) and also in 2014 (104.6 ppg).

Leading the Way: With his 24 points today, Edwards led the U.S. in scoring for the fifth time this tournament and ninth time this summer. He ends the tournament as the team’s leading scoring, averaging 18.9 points per game. He joins Kevin Durant (2010, five games) and Paul Pierce (2022, four games) as USA players to have scored more than 20 points in 4+ games at the World Cup.

Double-Digit Scorers: The U.S. had six double-digit scorers on Sunday afternoon, marking the sixth time this tournament that the U.S. had at least four double-digit scorers. In addition to Edwards, Austin Reaves (23), Bridges (19), Bobby Portis Jr. (14), Brunson (13) and Josh Hart (10) scored in double figures on Sunday afternoon.

With the Assist: Tyrese Haliburton led the U.S. with seven assists on Sunday afternoon to total 45 assists in the World Cup, the most for a USA player in a single tournament over the last 30 years (Chris Paul, 44, 2006).

Bridges Ends Strong: Bridges notched 19 points, including a game-tying 3-pointer with less than a second left. Bridges averaged over 18 points in the USA’s final four games of the World Cup after averaging 8.9 points per game in the first four games. Bridges also led the U.S. in rebounds on Sunday afternoon with nine—one board shy of a double-double.

Reaves Shines: Reaves scored a total of 110 points off the bench, the most of any substitute player in the 2023 FIBA Men’s World Cup.

Dallas Mavericks will play preseason game against Real Madrid at WiZink Center in Madrid October 10, 2023

The NBA has announced that the Dallas Mavericks will play a preseason game against reigning EuroLeague champion Real Madrid at the WiZink Center in Madrid on Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2023, at 8:45 p.m. CET, marking 35 years since the first NBA games in Spain in 1988. The matchup will be the NBA’s eighth game in the Spanish capital and 20th game in Spain overall.

The Mavericks currently feature four-time NBA All-Star and All-NBA First Team member Luka Dončić, who joined Real Madrid at the age of 13 and became the youngest-ever EuroLeague and EuroLeague Final Four MVP when he led Real Madrid to the 2018 EuroLeague title at age 19. The Mavericks also feature 2016 NBA champion and eight-time NBA All-Star Kyrie Irving.

Real Madrid features Spanish legend and former NBA draftee Sergio Llull as well as several former NBA players, including Rudy Fernández, Mario Hezonja, Džanan Musa, and Sergio Rodríguez. Real Madrid has won a record 36 La Liga ACB championships and is the winningest team in EuroLeague history with 11 titles.

The matchup marks the first preseason NBA game in Madrid since 2016, when Dončić and Real Madrid hosted the Oklahoma City Thunder. In 1988, the Boston Celtics played two games in Madrid against the then Yugoslavian Men’s National Team and Real Madrid.

Prior to the game in Madrid, the Mavericks will play two preseason games against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Oct. 5 and 7 as part of The NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2023.

“Bringing the live NBA experience directly to our passionate international fans is an important part of our year-round efforts to grow basketball and the NBA around the world,” said NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. “We’re excited for the Mavericks to play Real Madrid and look forward to engaging with fans from Spain and across Europe around this historic matchup.”

“Following our preseason games in Abu Dhabi, we are thrilled to play the game we love for the MFFLs in Madrid,” said Dallas Mavericks CEO Cynt Marshall. “Our team is lucky to have one of the greatest international NBA ambassadors in Luka, and we look forward to connecting with Real Madrid and their fans.”

“Facing an NBA team is always special, but on this occasion even more so, as it will give us the opportunity to once again enjoy a Real Madrid legend and NBA star like Luka Dončić, who proudly carries the name of our club and presumes of being a Madridista wherever he goes,” said Real Madrid Ambassador Felipe Reyes. “It will be a great spectacle and a very exciting moment for all madridistas and basketball lovers.”

NBA Mexico City Game 2023: Hawks vs. Magic on November 9

The NBA Mexico City Game 2023 will feature the Atlanta Hawks and the Orlando Magic playing a regular-season game at the Arena CDMX in Mexico City on Thursday, Nov. 9. The matchup will mark the league’s 32nd game in Mexico since 1992, more than any country outside the U.S. and Canada.

The Magic, which will be playing its fourth game in Mexico since 2012, currently features 2022 No. 1 overall pick and 2022-23 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year Paolo Banchero, 2021-22 Kia NBA All-Rookie First Team member Franz Wagner, and 2017 No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz. The Hawks, who will be playing their first game in Mexico, are coming off their third consecutive playoff appearance behind two-time NBA All-Star Trae Young and 2022 NBA All-Star Dejounte Murray.

The NBA Mexico City Game 2023 will air live in Mexico on ESPN, Star+, TUDN and NBA League Pass, the league’s premium live game subscription service available on the NBA App, reaching fans in more than 200 countries and territories on television, digital media and social media. In addition to The NBA Mexico City Game 2023, the league and its partners will conduct NBA Cares community outreach initiatives, Jr. NBA youth basketball development programming and interactive activities that will bring the NBA experience to fans in Mexico City.

To conclude the week-long celebration of basketball in the country, the Mexico City Capitanes will host the Osceola Magic on Friday, Nov. 10 as part of the NBA G League’s Showcase Cup schedule.

NBA Paris Game 2024, featuring Nets vs. Cavs, scheduled for January 11

The NBA Paris Game 2024 will feature the Brooklyn Nets and the Cleveland Cavaliers playing the league’s third regular-season game in Paris at the Accor Arena on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024.

The NBA Paris Game 2024 will mark the Nets’ second game in Paris, having played a preseason game in the French capital in 2008.

Brooklyn currently features 2021-22 NBA All-Defensive First Team and 2023 USA Basketball Men’s National Team member Mikal Bridges, 2023 USA Basketball Men’s National Team member Cam Johnson and three-time NBA All-Star Ben Simmons. The Nets have made five consecutive playoff appearances.

The Cavaliers will be playing their first game in Europe. Cleveland currently features four-time NBA All-Star Donovan Mitchell, 2022 NBA All-Stars Jarrett Allen and Darius Garland, and 2022-23 Kia NBA All-Defensive First Team member Evan Mobley. The Cavaliers won their first NBA championship in 2016 and made four consecutive NBA Finals appearances from 2015 to 2018.

The NBA Paris Game 2024 will air live on beIN SPORTS and NBA League Pass.

Sacramento Kings sign 2022-23 EuroLeague MVP Sasha Vezenkov

The Sacramento Kings on Tuesday, July 20 signed forward Sasha Vezenkov.

Vezenkov was named the 2022-23 EuroLeague MVP after he averaged 17.6 points (55.3 FG%, 38.3 3pt%, 84.0 FT%), 6.9 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game in 40 games (39 starts) for Olympiacos. He also received the Alphonso Ford EuroLeague Top Scorer Trophy and was selected to the All-EuroLeague First Team for a second consecutive season.

During the 2022-23 season, Vezenkov competed in the Greek Basket League for Olympiacos, posting averages of 16.7 points (58.0 FG%, 39.4 3pt%, 80.3 FT%), 5.7 rebounds and 1.0 steals per contest. For his performance, Vezenkov was chosen as the league’s Most Valuable Player for the second season in a row and helped lead his team to win the Greek League Championship.

A native of Bulgaria, Vezenkov began his career in the Greek Basket League with Aris Basketball Club, spending four seasons with the team from 2011-15. He joined FC Barcelona for the next three years (2015-18) before joining Olympiacos prior to the 2018-19 season.

Vezenkov was originally selected with the 57th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft by the Brooklyn Nets. Sacramento acquired his draft rights in a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2022 NBA Draft.

Jeremy Lin cuts basketball season in China short

Via the New York Post:

Jeremy Lin, who captivated New York in 2012 during his magical run with the Knicks, is leaving the Chinese Basketball Association, cutting his season with the Guangzhou Loong Lions short.

Lin now plans to come back to America, though he is leaving his basketball future open.

“After lots of consideration, I’ve decided to leave the CBA for this season,” Lin wrote in an Instagram post. “It wasn’t an easy decision. I still love the game of basketball and look forward to getting back to the court one day. As for now, I’m gonna go back to the US to rest and reset before I make a decision with my family for my next step.”

Spurs and Heat will play a December, 2022 NBA regular season game in Mexico City

The NBA and Zignia today announced that the five-time NBA champion San Antonio Spurs and the three-time NBA champion Miami Heat will play a regular-season game at the Arena CDMX in Mexico City on Saturday, December 17, marking the first NBA Mexico City Game since 2019 and the league’s 31st game in Mexico overall, more than any country outside the U.S. and Canada.

The Spurs are led by five-time NBA champion head coach Gregg Popovich, who during the 2021-22 season became the winningest coach in NBA history, and currently feature 2020 Olympic gold medalist Keldon Johnson, 2022 No. 9 overall pick Jeremy Sochan, and 2021 No. 12 overall pick Joshua Primo.

The Heat are coached by Erik Spoelstra, who has led the franchise to two NBA championships, and currently feature six-time NBA All-Star Jimmy Butler, 2020 NBA All-Star and three-time All-Defensive Second Team member Bam Adebayo, and 2021-22 Kia Sixth Man of the Year Tyler Herro.

The NBA Mexico City Game 2022 will air live in Mexico on ESPN, TUDN and NBA League Pass, the league’s premium live game subscription service. The game will reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories around the world on television, digital media and social media.

The Spurs made their debut in Mexico in October 1994 with two preseason games at the Palacio de los Deportes. Overall, the Spurs have played six games in Mexico, most recently a 121-119 overtime win against the Phoenix Suns as part of The NBA Mexico City Games 2019. The matchup will mark the Heat’s second game in Mexico, after defeating the Brooklyn Nets 101-89 as part of The NBA Mexico City Games 2017.

The NBA Mexico City Game 2022 will also mark the 30th anniversary of the league’s first game in the country, which featured the Houston Rockets and the Dallas Mavericks playing a preseason game at Mexico’s Palacio de los Deportes in October 1992. Overall, 22 NBA teams have played preseason and regular-season games in Mexico.

Utah Jazz sign Simone Fontecchio

The Utah Jazz have signed forward Simone Fontecchio.

Fontecchio (6-7, 200, Italy) joins the Jazz after most recently playing for Baskonia of the Liga ACB in Spain in 2021-22. He appeared in 70 games (53 starts) in the ACB and EuroLeague last season, owning averages of 11.8 points on 45.2 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from three, along with 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 26.0 minutes per contest.

A native of Pescara, Italy, Fontecchio began his professional career in 2012-13 with Virtus Bologna of the Lega A in Italy. He was with Virtus Bologna from 2012-17, going on to play with Milan of the Lega A from 2016-19, with stints with Vanoli Cremona in 2017-18, along with experience with Reggio Emilia in 2019-20 and ALBA Berlin of the German Bundesliga in 2020-21. He was named the Italian Lega A Best Under-22 Player following the 2014-15 season with Virtus Bologna.

The 26-year-old has represented the Senior Italian National Team in multiple events, including the 2017 European World Cup Qualifiers, the 2020 EuroBasket Qualifiers, the 2021 Olympic Qualifiers, the 2021 Olympic Games and the 2021 European World Cup Qualifiers. During the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo, he saw action in four contests, averaging 19.3 points on 52.7 percent from the field and 45.5 percent from beyond the arc, 3.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.5 steals in 30.2 minutes per game.

Bulls and Pistons to play a January 2023 NBA regular season game in Paris, France

The NBA Paris Game 2023 will feature the six-time NBA champion Chicago Bulls and the three-time NBA champion Detroit Pistons playing a regular-season game at the Accor Arena in Paris, France on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023.

The NBA Paris Game 2023 will mark the Bulls’ third game in Paris, having played two preseason games in the French capital in 1997. Chicago currently features five-time NBA All-Star DeMar DeRozan, two-time NBA All-Star and Slam Dunk champion Zach LaVine, and two-time NBA All-Star Nikola Vučević (Montenegro). The Bulls won six NBA championships spanning eight years, becoming only the third franchise in league history to win three consecutive titles twice (1991-93 and 1996-98).

The Pistons will be playing their first game in France, having previously played regular-season games in London (2013) and Mexico City (2019). Detroit currently features 2021 No. 1 overall draft pick Cade Cunningham, 2020 Olympic gold medalist Jerami Grant, 2020 No. 7 overall draft pick Killian Hayes (France), and 2021 NBA All-Rookie Team members Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart. The Pistons won NBA titles in 1989, 1990 and 2004 and made six consecutive Eastern Conference Finals appearances from 2003 to 2008.

The NBA Paris Game 2023 will mark the first NBA game in Europe since 2020 and the league’s 12th game in France since 1991. The NBA Paris Game 2020 – the first regular-season NBA game in Paris – took place Jan. 24, 2020, and featured the Charlotte Hornets and the Milwaukee Bucks.

In addition to The NBA Paris Game 2023, the league and its partners will conduct interactive fan activities, NBA Cares community outreach initiatives and Jr. NBA youth basketball development programming that will bring the NBA experience to fans in the French capital.

The NBA’s presence in France spans more than 35 years. NBA games and programming have aired in France since the 1984-85 season, and the league played its first game in France in 1991. In addition to 12 preseason and regular-season games in France, the league has hosted interactive fan events, appearances by current and former players, NBA Cares community outreach initiatives and, in 2007, Basketball Without Borders, the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development and community outreach program that has seen seven French players drafted into the NBA or signed as free agents, including Hayes.

Opening-night rosters for the 2021-22 NBA season featured 12 French players. During the 2021-22 season, live NBA games and programming air in France on beIN SPORTS and NBA League Pass, the league’s premium live game subscription service, including 48 weekend games in primetime as part of the league’s “NBA Saturdays and NBA Sundays presented by NBA 2K22” primetime initiative. The Jr. NBA “Challenges Benjamin(e)s” program in partnership with the French Basketball Federation (FFBB), now in its 12th year, has reached more than 260,000 boys and girls across the country since the 2009-10 season. In addition to FFBB, the NBA has also collaborated with the Union Nationale du Sport Scolaire (UNSS), a government body that oversees the organization and development of sports activities in schools, to operate the 2022 Jr. NBA FFBB UNSS League for boys and girls in Marseille.

Chicago Bulls Executive Vice President – Basketball Operations Artūras Karnišovas: “It is a great honor to bring Chicago Bulls basketball back to Paris for The NBA Paris Game 2023 – an event that illustrates the league’s commitment to amplifying the national and global impact of basketball. Having played several games in Paris during my career, I know how special this will be for our players, our organization, and our international fanbase. We look forward to representing Chicago overseas and are grateful for the opportunity to do so.”

Detroit Pistons General Manager Troy Weaver: “The Detroit Pistons organization is excited to take on the Chicago Bulls and play our first-ever game in France. Playing a regular-season game in Paris will be a great experience for our players and coaches and we look forward to showcasing Detroit Basketball to an international audience.”

NBA Europe and Middle East Managing Director Ralph Rivera: “The Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons are two of the most historic franchises in the NBA and feature an exciting mix of rising young players and established All-Stars. Welcoming the Bulls and Pistons to Paris for our second regular-season game will be a highlight for fans in France and across Europe, and with Paris hosting the Summer Olympics in 2024, basketball and the NBA are well-positioned for continued growth in France for years to come.”

Deputy Mayor in Charge of Sport for the City of Paris Pierre Rabadan: “The City of Paris is extremely proud to host these two iconic teams in the Chicago Bulls and the Detroit Pistons. This is an exciting match-up that brings to mind the historic showdown between these Eastern Conference franchises. Basketball fans in France have been looking forward to seeing a game of this magnitude again, and I would like to thank our NBA partners for once again choosing Paris for this regular-season game. Paris vibrates with the sport of basketball all year long and this major event will contribute to further developing what is such a dynamic sport, so I have no doubt Parisians will be excited by this news.”

Accor Arena CEO Nicolas Dupeux: “The Accor Arena proudly hosted the first-ever regular-season NBA game in France in 2020, which captivated fans and showcased our world-class facility to a global audience. It is therefore an honor to once again host a regular-season game in 2023, which will provide fans with a great show of sportsmanship and entertainment as boldness and excellence continue to guide our programming.”

2022 NBA Japan Games, Sept. 30 and Oct. 2, feature Wizards vs. Warriors

The NBA and Rakuten Group, Inc., today announced that the Washington Wizards and Golden State Warriors will play two preseason games in Japan in 2022.

The NBA Japan Games 2022 will take place Friday, Sept. 30 and Sunday, Oct. 2 at Saitama Super Arena outside of Tokyo, marking the Wizards’ first trip to Japan and the league’s 15th and 16th games in the country.

“We are so honored to represent the NBA and the wonderful game of basketball in front of an audience of Japanese fans,” said Ted Leonsis, Founder & CEO, Monumental Sports & Entertainment. “We are particularly excited to watch Rui Hachimura play in front of his fellow Japanese citizens. We were proud to welcome him into the DC Family nearly three years ago as a dynamic young talent and have only seen his growth as a player since. And our fans across our home market in Washington D.C. have a special connection to the Japanese people – marked by our annual celebration of the gift of cherry trees given to our city by the Mayor of Tokyo over 100 years ago. Celebrating American and Japanese cultures further strengthens our bonds and so we look forward to taking on the Golden State Warriors and growing new fans of the sport we all love.”

“I am very excited to bring Wizards basketball to Japan,” said Hachimura. “I cannot wait to see the arena filled with fans getting to see NBA basketball in person.”