According to the league, the Sacramento Kings and Indiana Pacers will become the first NBA teams to play in India. The preseason games will take place at the NSCI Dome in Mumbai on October 4th and 5th.
“Our inaugural NBA India Games will help further untap the enormous basketball potential in a country with a thriving sports culture and a growing, young and engaged population,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said. “We thank the Kings and Pacers organizations for participating in this historic event.”
Kings majority owner Vivek Ranadive is of Indian descent and has been pushing for the opportunity to bring the Association into his native land, and he’s finally received his wish.
“As an Indian-American, it is an honor to help bring this historic moment to the country where I was raised,” Ranadive said in a statement.
NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum traveled to Mumbai to make the announcement on Thursday.
"Today is a historic day," says Mark Tatum, @NBA Deputy Commissioner, announcing the league will play its first official preseason games in India next October. The @SacramentoKings and the @Pacers in Mumbai on October 4, 5 in 2019. @ESPNIndia pic.twitter.com/wmrBkUl4ss
— Manoj Bhagavatula (@ManojB90) December 20, 2018
“Our inaugural NBA India Games will help further untap the enormous basketball potential in a country with a thriving sports culture and a growing, young and engaged population,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.
The NBA opened an office in Mumbai in 2011 and the NBA Academy India in 2017 for elite youth prospects. More than 350 NBA games are televised on multiple channels in India, including 78 with Hindi commentary.