- Chris Forsberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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Oct. 5 - Celtics vs. Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul - Ulker Sports Arena, Istanbul
Oct. 7 - Celtics vs. EA7 Emporio Armani - Mediolanum Forum, Milan
The two exhibition games have long been rumored and the locations have been known since early April, but the latest news hammers down the dates.
Back in April, Celtics coach Doc Rivers expressed a desire to do the team's full camp overseas, not just the quick two-game trek.
"I love when we go [away for camp]," said Rivers. "I’ve always liked it, if it’s done right. And we will find that out later -- we don't know if we’re going to go over there and be our training camp, or if we’re going to do the quick trip. I’m not a big fan of the quick trip. I think when you go over there, go over there, and have camp there. I think it’s a great team-bonding trip. I’m hoping that’s what we do, but that hasn’t been clarified yet."
Full press release, courtesy of the EuroLeague website, after the jump.
NBA EUROPE LIVE 2012 PRESENTED BY BBVA™ TO SHOWCASE BOSTON CELTICS, DALLAS MAVERICKS, AND TOP EUROLEAGUE TEAMS
The Boston Celtics and the Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association (NBA), and top Euroleague Basketball teams Alba Berlin from Germany, EA7 Emporio Armani from Italy, and Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul from Turkey will play a series of preseason games this October as part of NBA Europe Live 2012 presented by BBVA™, the NBA, Euroleague Basketball, and BBVA announced today.
The four-game tour tips off on Oct. 5 when the 17-time NBA Champion Boston Celtics play five-time Turkish Champions Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul at the newly opened, state-of-the-art Ulker Sports Arena in Istanbul, Turkey. The highly successful O2 World in Berlin, Germany, will be the venue for the homecoming of German national Dirk Nowitzki as the 2011 NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks take on eight-time German Champions Alba Berlin on Oct. 6. Next stop is Milan, Italy, where 25-time Italian Champions EA7 Emporio Armani will match up against the Celtics at the Mediolanum Forum on Oct.7. The Mavericks will play an additional game in Spain with details to be announced in the near future.
“Returning to Europe with two storied NBA franchises for the sixth installment of the NBA Europe Live presented by BBVA is a testament to our commitment to bringing more live games and events to our fans in Europe,” said Benjamin Morel, Senior Vice President, NBA Europe. “As part of our longstanding collaboration with Euroleague Basketball and with the support of BBVA and all of our partners, fans can look forward to an exciting blend of basketball action, interactive fan events and community-based initiatives as the sport of basketball thrives across the continent.”
“Since 2006 both of the leading basketball competitions, Euroleague Basketball and the NBA, have been coming together to offer fans spectacular basketball and this year is no exception,” said Roser Queralto, Euroleague Basketball’s Chief Business Development Officer. “Some of the best and historic teams from the NBA will face off with some of the strongest Euroleague and European teams for some exciting preseason games to warm up for the next season.”
As part of a multiyear partnership, BBVA – the official bank of the NBA – will serve as the presenting partner of NBA Europe Live for the first time, with Turkish Bank Garanti, which is part owned by BBVA, to be the presenting partner of the game in Istanbul. adidas will return as a Pan-European partner, a position it has held for all six editions of the tour. AmEx will also return as a partner providing premium ticket access to Cardmembers across the Tour.
“BBVA is happy to be bringing the excitement of the NBA to fans in Germany, Italy and Spain - and through our partner bank Garanti Bank for the game in Turkey - as part of NBA Europe Live 2012 presented by BBVA,” said Mafe Laverde, Sponsorship Director, BBVA. “By serving as the presenting partner of NBA Europe Live, we will help bring world-class basketball to the cities of Berlin, Istanbul and Milan and through this series of games, reinforce our global sponsorship strategy. As the official bank of the NBA, we intend to provide extraordinary content to fans through our brand, promoting the values of effort, innovation and teamwork embodied by the two best basketball leagues in the world.”
Following the NBA Europe Live Tour 2012, over 450,000 fans will have attended 32 Europe Live games in 12 cities since the inaugural NBA Europe Live series that took place in 2006. In total, 60 games featuring 25 NBA teams will have been played in 18 cities in Europe since 1988.
Extensive community events and programs will again compliment the on-court action in each of the four cities. As part of its NBA Cares initiative, the NBA family has helped create and build 23 places in Europe where children and families can live, learn or play in nine European countries. NBA Europe Live 2012 will also consist of a range of activities for fans in addition to the games, including interactive fan events, basketball development programs, player appearances and more.
5dMatt Walks, ESPN.com
6dESPN Stats and Information Group