Knicks & Pistons bring NBA action back to London
NBA action will return to British shores on January 17, when the New York Knicks take on the Detroit Pistons at the O2 Arena in London.
The NBA announced the fixture on Thursday, looking to capitalise on the popularity of basketball at the summer's Olympic Games.
"London was the epicenter of global sports this summer, and the Olympics were a tremendous showcase for basketball," NBA commissioner David Stern said. "Playing our third regular-season game in the city in three years and having historic franchises like the Knicks and Pistons serve as our ambassadors provide extraordinary opportunities to further the game's growth and development in the UK and throughout Europe."
The New Jersey Nets - now the Brooklyn Nets - and Toronto Raptors played two regular season fixtures at the O2 Arena in March 2011, but a lockout to start last season prevented a return to the east London venue.
January 2013's fixture will be the seventh NBA game - four of those being exhibitions - to be played in Britain.
"The Pistons are excited to participate in the NBA London Live 2013," Dennis Mannion, president and CEO of Palace Sports & Entertainment and the Pistons, said. "Playing a regular-season game in London against the New York Knicks will provide a great experience for our players and we look forward to showcasing our brand of 'Hard, Smart and Together' Detroit Basketball to fans on a global scale."
The Knicks reached the playoffs last season, losing in the first round to eventual champions the Miami Heat, while the Pistons are rebuilding after a disappointing campaign that saw them miss out on the post-season.