London, Mexico City to host regular-season games
The NBA will stage regular-season games in two nations outside the United States and Canada in one season for the first time when London and Mexico City host 2013-14 matches, the league said Tuesday.
This past season's NBA runner-up San Antonio Spurs will face the Minnesota Timberwolves at Mexico City Arena on December 4, 2013, while the Brooklyn Nets and Atlanta Hawks meet on January 16, 2014, at London's O2 Arena.
The London game will be the 12th NBA contest played in the city, dating to 1993, while the Mexico City matchup will be the NBA's 21st overall contest played in Mexico.
"It's always an honour to represent the league overseas," Nets guard Deron Williams said. "Playing in London has a playoff-like intensity. The energy in the building is great for players on both teams. It should be very exciting."
The Spurs featured a record nine players from outside the United States last season while the Timberwolves ranked second in the NBA in that category with six.
"With the huge international presence on our current roster and our increasing global popularity, this is a natural fit for us," said Timberwolves president Chris Wright.
The NBA had previously announced eight pre-season games to be played around the world ahead of next season.
The regular-season contests make this the most clubs to play globally in a single season in NBA history, with 12 teams playing 10 games in eight nations.
"With the addition of regular-season games in London and Mexico City, we will play one of the most comprehensive international games schedules in our history next season," NBA commissioner David Stern said.
The pre-season global contests include the Houston Rockets and Indiana Pacers meeting October 10 at Manila and October 13 at Taipei, the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors playing on October 15 at Beijing and October 18 at Shanghai and the Oklahoma City Thunder and Philadelphia 76ers on October 8 at Manchester, England.
In addition, the Thunder will face Turkey's Fenerbahce on October 5 at Istanbul, the 76ers will visit Bilbao Basket on October 6 in Spain and the Chicago Bulls will play the Washington Wizards on October 12 at Rio de Janeiro.
Russian champion CSKA Moscow also will make a US tour for exhibition contests on October 7 at Minnesota, whose T-Wolves feature Russian players Andrei Kirilenko and Alexey Shved, and October 9 at San Antonio.