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Raptors, Nets Set To Play First NBA Regular-Season Games In Europe
Published March 4, 2011
ALL IN THE GAME PLAN: In London, Brendan Gallagher noted under the ownership of Russian businessman Mikhail Prokhorov, the Nets have “become much more outward looking.” Before the start of this season, the Nets “toured China and Russia and now they seem positively enthusiastic about decamping to London for two regular season games.” Nets coach Avery Johnson said the team is “trying to become more of a global brand.” Johnson: “I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the Nets coming over here to London and to Europe regularly in the next five to ten years to play regular season games. We are glad to be in London and love it here” (TELEGRAPH.co.uk, 3/3). USA TODAY’s Zillgitt noted Nets CEO Brett Yormark in London this week "gave a presentation to nearly 350 Barclays employees, showing them artist renderings and construction photos" of the under construction Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Yormark said, "Our goal is to truly try to be a global franchise. There's obviously limitations in what we can do. Certainly advocating playing internationally is one thing we can do, and it lends itself to trying to develop a more global fanbase" (USATODAY.com, 3/3). Yormark said, “With our team moving to Brooklyn next year and our drive to increase our global appeal, we thought it was a great opportunity and one that is good for our business” (BBC.co.uk, 3/3). Meanwhile, Raptors President & GM Bryan Colangelo said, “It’s a great chance for brand building but we have been building our brand in Europe for many years with the acquisition of so many foreign players. It’s important to the league and important to us as a franchise to participate in the global growth of the game” (INDEPENDENT.co.uk, 3/3).