Despite A Sold-Out O2 Arena, NBA Gets Mixed Coverage From British Press
While Thursday's NBA game in London between the Brooklyn Nets and Atlanta Hawks was the fastest sellout for a game in the U.K., the game only received a somewhat lukewarm amount of media coverage in London leading up to the game. Pre-game advances for the game were virtually absent from the London Guardian. The newspaper did touch on the game in Wednesday's "Talking Sport" blog. The newspaper wrote, "In an attempt to expand its global presence, the NBA has sent two disappointing Eastern Conference teams, who have lost their best players to injuries, to London to play each other on Thursday. While this seems like a possible error of judgment, it's still a much better plan than the NFL's idea to try to gain UK fans by forcing the Jacksonville Jaguars upon them once per year." The London Times' Ian Whittell wrote a piece on Brooklyn's Russian-born forward Andrei Kirilenko. The article quotes Kirilenko's view of the NBA as a global game with some interesting perspective. Kirilenko: "When I was growing up in Russia there was one channel broadcasting one [NBA] game a week,” he said. “That’s the only thing you knew about. We were watching these games with Michael Jordan and looking at him like he was a god. NBA players were from a different planet. Now kids are growing up in Russia and London watching the best basketball players in the world compete on a regular basis. They have their role models right in front of their eyes and can learn from them.” The London Evening Standard's Michael Weinstein kept the focus strictly between the lines by writing on feature on Atlanta Hawks' sharp-shooter Kyle Korver, who had made a 3-pointer in an NBA-record 107 consecutive games prior to Thursday. The London Telegraph, meanwhile, did not post a single story about the NBA in the days leading up to the game (SBD Global).