The Utah Jazz will be one of three NBA teams playing exhibitions against teams in Australia’s National Basketball League in October.
The Salt Lake Tribune has confirmed that the Jazz will host the NBL’s Sydney Kings on Oct. 2 at the remodeled Vivint Smart Home Arena. The exhibition, which is reportedly one of three NBA-NBL games ahead of the NBA’s regular , was first reported by The Daily Telegraph in Sydney.
The Kings planned to hold a news conference Tuesday to announce the Oct. 2 game to be played in Salt Lake City, the Telegraph reported. Utah forward Joe Ingles, recently re-signed to a new contract with the Jazz, is expected to be present.
It’s the first American exhibitions ever for the NBL against NBA competition. The Jazz will field two Australians themselves for the game: Ingles and guard Dante Exum. Both play for the Australian national team, and will be facing off against Boomer teammates Kevin Lisch and Brad Newley.
The Telegraph interviewed NBL comissioner Larry Kestelman in January about the possibility of the NBL playing NBA teams:
“I won’t rest until we see the Sydney Kings playing the Warriors or the Chicago Bulls,” Kestelman said in January. “It will happen, whether it’s on our soil or theirs, but it will definitely happen. “As soon as they know what their pre-season looks like, we are certainly having a chat to them about some of our teams travelling over there to play as part of their pre-season. “We are one of the few leagues in the world that can actually challenge their teams and put up a good fight. “It’s either us or a few of the Euro League teams and that’s about it. “There is no other competition in the world that would have the standard of play that would be any serious challenge to an NBA club.”
The Telegraph reports that the NBA will also host exhibitions between Melbourne United and the Oklahoma City Thunder, as well as the Brisbane Bullets against the Phoenix Suns.