After hosting four consecutive years of NBA friendlies, London’s O2 Arena will see the first regular season game held in Europe this weekend. The New Jersey Nets and the Toronto Raptors will meet for a double-header on Friday, March 4 and Saturday, March 5.
Not everyone is excited about the regular game outside of North America though. Toronto’s coach Jay Triano has made no attempt to hide his negativity about flying his team abroad, complaining about the time change and unfamiliar arena. Injury may prevent superstar point guard Deron Williams from making his debut appearance with Nets and leading Raptors scorer Andrea Bargnani has been out with the flu. On the other hand, players reportedly are looking forward to sightseeing in London and “listening to the charming English accents.”
Still testing the waters for a permanent NBA team in Europe, commissioner David Stern is not making any guarantees.
Limited tickets are still available.
Insider tip: If you are heading to one of the games this weekend, pre-book The O2 Express with Thames Clippers to arrive via the Thames.
feature image: Kazmizandlils/flickr