The biggest basketball tournament on the planet is about to “land” to India, a country with strong potential but yet to have the opportunity to grow.
According to a recent announcement from the NBA, Sacramento Kings and Indiana Pacers will become the first two names to compete in India. The preseason match between the two teams will take place on October 4 and 5, 2019, on the NSCI Dome in the entertainment city of Mumbai.
“The NBA is trying to further develop its huge basketball potential in India, a country with a thriving sports culture and a growing young population,” said NBA commissioner Adam Silver. “We are also very grateful to organizations like Kings and Pacers who participated in this historic step.”
Since taking over as a commissioner in 2014, Mr. Adam Silver has made a very positive contribution to the NBA.
The owner of Kings – Vivek Ranadive is an Indian businessman and has long wanted to bring the planet’s biggest basketball tournament back to his homeland.
“As an Indian-American, it is an honor to contribute to bringing this historic moment to the country where I grew up. Basketball is booming in India and we are very happy about continue to expand the scope of the NBA to fans around the globe, “said Vivek.
Kevin Durant is one of the stars who participated in the NBA-organized basketball training program in India. In addition to the main season in the US, the NBA also has a lot of programs dedicated to other countries, with the aim of universalizing and developing basketball across the planet.
The first Indian basketball player in NBA
Bhullar is one of the first Indian basketball players in NBA. Currently, the athlete is playing for the Guangxi Rhino basketball team in China, dividing the time between Toronto and the southern city of Guangzhou.
“Many places in China, they don’t see outsiders. Especially I am tall, I just stick out like a sore thumb.” But the team is like a “big family”, he said.
He maintains his Indian contacts, talks to his parents in his native language and visits Gurdwaras wherever he can find them.
Bhullar believes his achievement will pave the way for more Indian players.