Brian WindhorstSenior writer for ESPN2 minutes to read
NBA has reached an agreement with Abu Dhabi to bring Team USA to the Middle East for exhibition games in August, the latest sign of the UAE’s growing investment in NBA that could eventually lead to ownership of an NBA team.
The announcement was made Wednesday in Berlin by USA Basketball CEO Jim Tooley that the national federations of Germany and Greece will play Team USA in the three-day event.
USA Basketball will host and play Germany on August 18 and Greece on August 20. The show will serve as a preparatory event for the FIBA Basketball World Cup, which begins the following week in Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines.
The event is sponsored by Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism, the government agency that struck a multi-year deal with the National Basketball Association to bring exhibition games to the UAE starting last fall.
The Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks played two games in Abu Dhabi in October, with more games scheduled this fall, reportedly including the Dallas Mavericks.
The NBA’s commercial ties in China, where the league has focused its international development over the past two decades, have eroded over the past four years. Meanwhile, there has been a direct shift towards developing deeper ties in the Middle East, particularly in Abu Dhabi.
In December, the NBA’s owners approved a plan that would allow foreign sovereign wealth funds to buy up to 20% minority stakes in teams.
Abu Dhabi fund Mubadala has shown interest in the possibility of making such an investment in an NBA team, according to multiple reports. The fund currently has more than $280 billion in assets.
Last year, the National Basketball Association (NBA) opened its first store in Abu Dhabi, a symbolic gesture that confirmed the league’s desire to establish a market in the UAE.
The transformation now includes American basketball, which will be on a trip around the world this summer. After a planned training camp in Las Vegas, Team USA is set to play Slovenia and Spain in Malaga, Spain, before traveling to Abu Dhabi.
Steve Kerr will take over as the national team coach for the World Cup, considered the most demanding event in international basketball, after the United States qualified last month.
“This is the first time our men’s national team has played in the UAE, and we are excited to engage with fans from all over the world,” Tuiley said in a statement, while also introducing our players and coaches to memorable football inside and outside the UAE. Court experiences.
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