For the last nine years NBA teams have made an annual trip to the UK to form a Global Games Series. This series consists of two teams from the NBA who are struggling to reach the heights that they set for the upcoming season and are trying to get their season back on track.
The occasion has managed to bring out the best in teams which has made for entertaining stuff for the NBA’s UK and European fanbase. The Washington Wizards and The New York Knicks took to the O2 Arena to verse one another and see if they could improve their season and the game certainly did not disappoint.
The Wizards roster still consists of some all-star players such as Bradley Beal and John who led their franchise in points and assists. They have also gained a new NBA all-star player this season with the likes of Dwight Howard. The Knicks roster currently consists of some great players as well such as Kristaps Porzingis, Frank Ntilikina and Tim Hardway Jr. Their fan bases are huge which means much of the audience just came to the game to see them. This game was the third time that then Knicks have made an appearance in London, while the Wizards made only their first appearance at the O2 arena.
The fans in London were treated to a spectacular and rare occasion as the Wizards managed to defeat the Knicks 101-100 on a goal-tending call which sparked a lot of controversy. Most people have never witnessed a win by a goal-tending decision and that was proven when former NBA player and NBA head coach Scott Brooks stated that he’d never seen anything like it before.
There was less than one second left on the clock when Thomas Bryant of the Wizards went for a lay-up and was illegally blocked by Alonzo Trier which was called for goaltending. After a lengthy review of the shot the points were given which put the Wizards ahead. Despite all the controversy the game was still not over yet with the Knicks, there were still four tenths of a second left when Emmanuel Mudiay took a shot but came up short.
The Knicks were without their star centre Enes Kanter which was a big loss, he did not want to travel to Europe because of the issues currently surrounding him and Turkish prosecutors who have issued an international warrant for his arrest. With everything that had gone on the event was still a success, the NBA commissioner Adam Silver stated at a press conference that there were going to be enough activities for a week such as junior NBA programmes and much more.
This has all formed part of the NBA’s plan to expand their brand internationally and to help them break into new markets. This event has definitely created more awareness around the NBA which should increase its popularity and make it easier for the NBA to expand.