LONDON – The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Euroleague Basketball announced today that the Oklahoma City Thunder will play two preseason games in October against Euroleague Basketball teams Real Madrid and FC Barcelona Lassa, as part of NBA Global Games Europe 2016 presented by BBVA.
The Thunder will tip off against nine-time Euroleague Champion and 33-time Spanish League Champion Real Madrid on Oct. 3 at the Barclaycard Center, before travelling to Barcelona to face 18-time Spanish League Champion and two-time Euroleague Champion FC Barcelona Lassa on Oct. 5 at the Palau Sant Jordi.
Tickets for both games go on sale July 4 at www.ticketmaster.es with the games to be aired live in Spain on Movistar+.
The Thunder, who in 2016 made their fourth Western Conference Finals appearance in the last six years, previously played a pair of European preseason games in 2013 against the Philadelphia 76ers in Manchester, England and against Fenerbahçe Ulker in Istanbul, Turkey.
Real Madrid, led by Rudy Fernandez, Sergio Llull and Felipe Reyes, most recently hosted the Boston Celtics in 2015. FC Barcelona Lassa, who currently features Alex Abrines, Juan Carlos Navarro and Ante Tomic, last played against an NBA team in 2012 when they faced the Dallas Mavericks in Barcelona.
NBA Global Games Europe 2016 will feature a variety of interactive fan activities and NBA Cares community events that will bring the NBA experience to fans across both cities.
In March, the NBA announced that the Houston Rockets and New Orleans Pelicans will play preseason games in Shanghai and Beijing on Oct. 9 and Oct. 12, respectively, as part of NBA Global Games 2016.
More NBA information can be found at www.NBA.es, the league’s official online destination in Spain, and on Facebook (NBA Espana) and Twitter (@NBA_Spain). Fans can also purchase all the latest Oklahoma City Thunder merchandise at www.NBAStore.eu.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver:
“Coming off one of the most exciting Western Conference Finals in recent memory, the Oklahoma City Thunder is an ideal team to bring the excitement and passion of the NBA directly to our European fans. The Thunder’s matchups against two heavyweights of European basketball will show off the best of our game while also providing a focal point for a wide range of grassroots basketball activities in Madrid and Barcelona.”
Euroleague Basketball President and CEO Jordi Bertomeu:
“It is a great pleasure to welcome an NBA team to Europe again. Real Madrid and FC Barcelona Lassa, two of our most important franchises, and the Oklahoma City Thunder will certainly offer a great show, bringing the best basketball possible from both continents closer to fans.”
NBA EMEA Senior Vice President and Managing Director Benjamin Morel:
“NBA Global Games Europe 2016 continues the league’s tradition of bringing our teams to Europe for what is a truly authentic NBA experience. Thanks to our longstanding collaboration with Euroleague Basketball and with the support of BBVA and our family of partners, we look forward to hosting two great games while also making an impact in the local community.”
Oklahoma City Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti:
“As the Thunder continues to build its legacy in sport, these games against FC Barcelona Lassa and Real Madrid give us an opportunity to compete against two clubs rich in tradition, and I’m looking forward to our players, coaches and staff experiencing these contests. We see it as an honor for our organization to play in exhibition games like these that help expand the game of basketball.”
Real Madrid Guard Sergio Llull:
“It is great that we will be playing another NBA team this year following our exciting game against the Boston Celtics last year. I can’t wait to face the Oklahoma City Thunder in October here in Madrid. Being able to play some of the best players in the world means a lot to everybody in the Real Madrid organization, and we will make sure it will be a great experience for all of our amazing fans.”
FC Barcelona Guard Juan Carlos Navarro:
“We have a long tradition of playing against NBA teams, and it is always thrilling for players and fans alike. I have very good memories of past games, especially the games we played at the Staples Center in Los Angeles; when we faced the Lakers here in Barcelona; and the first game we played against the Memphis Grizzlies – also in Barcelona – in what was Pau Gasol’s first season in the NBA.”
BBVA Global Marketing Director Carlos Ricardo:
“As the official bank of the NBA, we are thrilled to once again welcome the best basketball in the world to Europe and Spain. Fans in Madrid and Barcelona will be able to look forward to the Oklahoma City Thunder against two of the best teams on the continent in what are sure to be historic games.”
About the NBA
The NBA is a global sports and media business built around three professional sports leagues: the National Basketball Association, the Women’s National Basketball Association, and the NBA Development League. The league has established a major international presence with games and programming in 215 countries and territories in 49 languages, and NBA merchandise for sale in more than 125,000 stores in 100 countries on 6 continents. NBA rosters at the start of the 2015-16 season featured 100 international players from 37 countries and territories. NBA Digital’s assets include NBA.com and the NBA app, which achieved record traffic during the 2014-15 season, as well as NBA TV. The NBA has created one of the largest social media communities in the world, with more than one 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.
About Euroleague Basketball
A global leader in sports management, Euroleague Basketball develops and organizes elite competitions, sporting events, corporate social responsibility programs and educational initiatives. Founded in 2000 under a breakthrough private organizational model for European professional team sports, Euroleague Basketball manages the continent’s two premier men’s basketball competitions, the Turkish Airlines Euroleague and the Eurocup, as well the sport’s premier under-18 showcase, the ADIDAS NEXT GENERATION TOURNAMENT. Both the men’s and junior European champions are crowned each spring at world basketball’s signature weekend event, the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four. For aspirants to careers in sports management, the Euroleague Basketball Institute offers the expertise of industry leaders through seminars, clinics, summits and a certified master’s degree program. Most recently, Euroleague Basketball launched the groundbreaking corporate social responsibility program One Team, which unites 32 of its own clubs and world-renowned partners to support at-risk communities in 14 countries through grassroots activities that have reached more than 10,000 participants to date.