So ... yay, the NBA is coming to London during the regular season next year! The NBA is totally going to succeed in it's efforts to expand its brand to Europe, now that the Nets and Raptors are playing a back-to-back set there next March! Right? Right?
Well, about that...
Look, I mean no disrespect to the NBA's efforts here, and I realize this is a tougher task than it looks to find two teams willing to pack up and go to London in the middle of the season. But if you're trying to market your league, couldn't you do a whole lot better then sending the Nets and the Raptors?
Just so we're clear: these are now legitimate marketing campaigns for these March games:
Come see Brook Lopez battle Andrea Bargnani in a battle of two of the best young centers in basketball!
Come see a team of international players go toe-to-toe with the league's ultimate international owner!
Come see a bunch of overpaid guys like
Hedo Turkoglu, Jose Calderon and Bargnani try to prove that they are actually worth the obscene amount of money their GM gave them!
Come see the Nets' marquee free agent acquisitions (cues this picture) show why they can put the 12-win Nets over the top!
Come watch overpaid per-minute machine Amir Johnson show everyone why he cannot fill Chris Bosh's shoes!
In other words, I don't think it takes a genius to say this isn't exactly the most marquee matchup in the world. Typically, when professional sports leagues send teams to play abroad, they find ones that are either a) good or b) at least have a star player they can market. Unless Derrick Favors rocks right away, these two teams don't fit either bill.
I guess it's time for the league to figure out how to market the hell out of Brook Lopez and Devin Harris.