The global expansion of the NBA has reached new heights in recent seasons, as players and organizations have toured the world. In 2013-14, the league will take its attempts at reaching out to international markets to an even greater level.
The question is, when and where will those games transpire? More specifically, how can you watch the action?
Regular Season Games
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. San Antonio Spurs
Date: Dec. 4
TV: NBA TV
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
On Dec. 4, 2013, the NBA will make its regular season debut in international territory as the Minnesota Timberwolves face the San Antonio Spurs in Mexico City, Mexico. This is a fitting turn of events considering Minnesota and San Antonio have rosters that are laced with foreign players.
It doesn't hurt that Minnesota is in position to make a run at the postseason and the Spurs are the defending Western Conference champions.
Minnesota's roster includes Ricky Rubio of Spain, Nikola Pekovic of Montenegro, J.J. Barea of Puerto Rico, Alexey Shved of Russia, Ronny Turiaf of Martinique, France and Gorgui Dieng of Senegal. This international presence makes the T-Wolves a prime candidate to represent the NBA in international play.
That's exactly what they'll do in a game that will test Minnesota's postseason readiness.
The Spurs have earned the reputation as a team of international wealth by winning multiple NBA championships with foreign players. San Antonio is currently represented by Tony Parker, Boris Diaw and Nando de Colo of France, Manu Ginobili of Argentina, Tiago Splitter of Brazil, Aron Baynes of New Zealand, Marco Belinelli of Italy, Patty Mills of Australia and Cory Joseph of Canada.
Tim Duncan was born in the U.S. Virgin Islands if you want to continue talking global expansion.
These are the proper teams to represent the league, and when they meet, it should be a highly competitive, systematic affair. There are All-Stars on both rosters and both squads will be competing for postseason spots in the Western Conference.
Prepare for a good, and very international, game.
Atlanta Hawks vs. Brooklyn Nets
Date: Jan. 15, 2014
TV: NBA TV
Location: London, England
The Atlanta Hawks will meet the Brooklyn Nets on Jan. 15, 2014 at The O2 in London, England. This will be the NBA's second trip to the United Kingdom in 2013-14 after the Oklahoma City Thunder played the Philadelphia 76ers on Oct. 8.
The Hawks versus Nets meeting will have a bit more of a long-term impact than a preseason meeting.
Atlanta is represented by the likes of Al Horford of the Dominican Republic, Dennis Schroeder of Germany, Gustavo Ayon of Mexico and Pero Antic of the Republic of Macedonia. With head coach Mike Budenholzer, who was a long-time assistant in San Antonio, Atlanta will know how to coach international players in a flowing system.
Throw in players such as Paul Millsap and Jeff Teague, and Atlanta is a postseason-caliber team.
The Nets have an international crop of players, as well, with the likes of Andrei Kirilenko of Russia, Tornike Shengelia of Georgia and Mirza Teletovic of Bosnia. The Nets will sell tickets and win games with their starting lineup, however, which consists of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Brook Lopez.
Prepare for a slug fest.
Atlanta has the system-style head coach to offset the elite abilities of opposing teams, while Brooklyn has as star-studded a rotation as any in the NBA. Under the bright lights of London, expect these two teams to represent the league in an extraordinary manner.
International stadiums will welcome two promising regular season meetings in 2013-14.