Unsatisfied with earning just the adulation of a state, the Jazz are now trying to woo a continent of fans.
For a second straight year, Utah has looked to Australia for its preseason opponents, hosting the National Basketball League’s Perth Wildcats on Sept. 29 and the Adelaide 36ers on Oct. 5 at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Last season, the Jazz played host to the Sydney Kings, the first NBL team to play an NBA team in the United States, and Israeli club Maccabi Haifa.
In between, the Toronto Raptors, with former Ute Delon Wright, will visit the Viv on Oct. 2.
The Jazz, of course, have a strong connection to down under, with Aussie natives Joe Ingles and Dante Exum both on the roster and mainstays in the rotation.
The Australian teams the Jazz will face are two of the best franchises in the NBL. Perth has made 32 straight playoff appearances in the NBL, and Adelaide was the league’s runner-up last season, losing to Melbourne United in a winner-takes-all fifth game of the NBL’s Grand Finals.
Both teams also feature familiar faces to Jazz fans. Bryce Cotton, the diminutive point guard who played part of the 2014-15 NBA season with the Jazz, was named the NBL’s MVP for the 2017-18 season playing for Perth. Nathan Sobey, featured on the Jazz’s 2017 summer league team, plays for Adelaide.
Following the preseason home games, the Jazz will head out on the road to face Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers on Oct. 7, then the Sacramento Kings on Oct. 11.
The NBA’s regular-season schedule will be announced in mid-August.
JAZZ 2018 PRESEASON SCHEDULE
Sept. 29 • Perth Wildcats, 7 p.m.
Oct. 2 • Toronto Raptors, 7 p.m.
Oct. 5 • Adelaide 36ers, 7 p.m.
Oct. 7 • At Portland Trail Blazers, 7 p.m. MDT
Oct. 11 • At Sacramento Kings, 8 p.m. MDT