NBA champions Kenny Smith and Richard Jefferson, WNBA’s Natalie Achonwa to unite in Vancouver for new NBA events

TORONTO AND VANCOUVER – The National Basketball Association (NBA) today announced new events featuring appearances by NBA Champions Kenny “The Jet” Smith and Richard Jefferson, and WNBA player Natalie Achonwa, to coincide with the seventh NBA Canada Series presented by Bell.

The 2019 NBA Canada Series presented by Bell – a preseason game between the Dallas Mavericks and LA Clippers at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on Thursday, Oct. 17 – will air live on TSN at 7:30 pm PST/10:30pm ET.

NBA Gallery, a photography exhibition featuring both rare and recognizable images from senior NBA photographer Andrew D. Bernstein’s archives, will bring fans closer to the game.  Spanning nearly four decades, photos of the league’s biggest personalities, iconic moments and rivalries, will include historical images from the Vancouver Grizzlies franchise and Toronto Raptors’ 2018-19 championship season.

NBA Gallery will be a free exhibit open to fans of all ages from Oct. 17-20 (12-8pm daily, 170 Water Street).  Fans must register for access at

In partnership with the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, on Oct. 17 the NBA Gallery will also host a leadership panel featuring Mavericks’ CEO Cynthia Marshall, Clippers President of Basketball Operations, Gillian Zucker, and Clippers assistant coach Natalie Nakase.  Ahead of the preseason game that evening, Marshall and Zucker will discuss their respective approaches to leadership.  More information can be found at

NBA and WNBA talent will attend the events, participate in clinics and engage with NBA fans.  Kenny “The Jet” Smith, well-known for his role as an NBA studio analyst alongside Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal on TNT’s Emmy Award-winning show “Inside the NBA,” won two NBA championships with the Houston Rockets during his 10-year NBA career.

Seventeen-year NBA veteran Richard Jefferson won an NBA championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016, and following his retirement joined the YES Network as a game and studio analyst for the Brooklyn Nets and has made appearances on ESPN.  Jefferson popularized the player-hosted podcast, and co-hosts Road Trippin’ with former Cavaliers teammate Channing Frye.

Guelph-native Natalie Achonwa recently completed her fifth season with the WNBA’s Indiana Fever.  Prior to the WNBA, Achonwa became the first Canadian to play for the University of Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish Women’s basketball team.  At 16 she became the youngest player ever selected to the Canadian Senior Women’s National Team.

In addition to presenting partner Bell, supporting event partners include car2go | SHARE NOW, Kids Help Phone, Miller Genuine Draft, Nike, Tangerine and Xbox.  In Vancouver, the NBA and Bell will unveil a national community outreach program, with details on the announcement to be released in the coming weeks.

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About the NBA
The NBA is a global sports and media business built around four professional sports leagues: the National Basketball Association, the Women’s National Basketball Association, the NBA G League and the NBA 2K League.  The NBA has established a major international presence with games and programming in 215 countries and territories in 50 languages, and merchandise for sale in more than 100,000 stores in 100 countries on six continents.  NBA rosters at the start of the 2018-19 season featured 108 international players from 42 countries and territories.  NBA Digital’s assets include NBA TV,, the NBA App and NBA League Pass.  The NBA has created one of the largest social media communities in the world, with 1.6 billion likes and followers globally across all league, team, and player platforms.  Through NBA Cares, the league addresses important social issues by working with internationally recognized youth-serving organizations that support education, youth and family development, and health-related causes.