With the world slowly starting to return to normal after the COVID-19 pandemic, the NBA is looking to bring back an annual tradition: the overseas exhibition games. The Dallas Mavs have some ideas on where they want to play if it does come back, and it’s sure to make their star Luka Doncic extremely happy.
Marc Stein reported that the Mavs are looking to play exhibition games in two places special to Doncic: Slovenia and Real Madrid. Additionally, the Golden State Warriors are lobbying to play an exhibition game in Tokyo, Japan.
The Warriors are tentatively scheduled to make a preseason trip to Japan next season, sources say, and Dallas remains intent on playing exhibition games at Real Madrid and in Slovenia as soon as it's permissible.
Just one of the TWIB topics we get into: https://t.co/uAQpwYoGIN https://t.co/iOlnYAuTp1
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) October 8, 2021
As fans might know, Luka Doncic was born in Slovenia, so getting a chance to represent the Mavs in his home town will surely be an exciting prospect for the young star. On the other hand, Doncic’s professional playing career took off with Real Madrid, and it was there where he built up his resume. The Mavs franchise player will surely want to pay tribute to the city and team that helped him get to their NBA.
It’s also interesting that aside from the Mavs, the Warriors are also pushing to play a preseason tilt in Tokyo. Some have jokingly speculated that this was an excuse for Draymond Green and Steve Kerr to come back to Japan after the Olympics. Whatever the reason is, it’s nice that NBA teams are looking to branch out and reach wider audiences.
In the past, the NBA has played in a lot of different countries in the preseason. The Mavs, for example, played a preseason game in Vancouver in 2019, and one in Shenzen, China the previous year. Other teams have played in other countries, such as Mexico, the Philippines, India, United Kingdom, and France. As more and more countries start opening their doors, expect the NBA to renew their push to have a broader audience.