This year’s installment of the NBA’s international exhibition game will take place in London’s famous 02 Arena. This is the second time the league has had a game played in London.
Over the years, the NBA’s popularity has surged internationally and these regular season games being held overseas gives fans abroad the opportunity to catch a game.
The Pistons, with a record of 14-24 are not the favored to win against the 24-13 Knicks. The New York Knicks come into this game fresh off of a 100-87 win against the New Orleans Hornets.
This is in no way a vacation for either teams. The New York Knicks are having their best season in years and star forward Carmelo Anthony is at the peak of his career.
In order to make it feel like just another day on the job, Spike Lee came out onto the court during the Knicks practice wearing bright orange and blue Knicks gear.
Although Lee has been to London many times on previous occasions, but this is the first time he’ll watch his beloved Knicks play overseas. Lee said, “My wife gave me permission to come to the game.”
The first regular season games played in London was in 2011 between the then New Jersey Nets and the Toronto Raptors. The Nets swept both games against the Raptors.
There wasn’t a NBA game played at the 02 Arena last year, but it was host to the Olympic gold medal game. The Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler helped the United States win the gold medal, so it’s safe to say they’re used to winning in this venue.
The Detroit Pistons are on the rebound as they’re trying to find a system that fits with a host of young talent and promising rookies. The Pistons were given the earlier practice, which allows them to have the afternoon to explore the city.
Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said it will be good experience for the young team and that being able to focus when stepping onto the hardwood is the mark of a professional.
We’ll see how this game plays out. It’s sure to be a good one.