After India Games, more eyes on new NBA season

NBA has always had its fair share of hard-core fanatics in India, who sacrifice time and sleep in the early hours of the day to enjoy some engrossing action.
After India Games, more eyes on new NBA season
Indian fans will keenly follow Sacramento Kings, which played two pre-season games in the country

Chennai

Almost 100 million people tuned in to watch some part of the previous season, thanks to official broadcaster Sony Sports Network, which aired 300 live games. According to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, there was also explosion of interest on social media, especially for the Finals. Silver was floored by the tremendous enthusiasm shown by the supporters, particularly the youngsters.

“Whether you live in Sacramento, Indianapolis or any other part of the world, it’s the same internet, the same app and the same websites. What amazes me is the amount of knowledge the fans have here. The young people seem to know all of our players from the top of the roster to the bottom,” Silver had said during the NBA India Games 2019 press conference in Mumbai.

With the NBA foraying into the country, the fan involvement is expected to shoot a notch for the upcoming edition, beginning Wednesday. Local supporters will have their eyes on Sacramento Kings (Western Conference) and Indiana Pacers (Eastern Conference) – the teams which competed in the first-ever NBA pre-season games in India.
Launch of a league
Kings’ Mumbai-born owner Vivek Ranadive, who convinced Silver to bring NBA to India, is now pushing for a league in his homeland. Ahead of the India Games, Silver revealed NBA is seriously considering that option, but added it requires more arena infrastructure.   

“It’s something we hope to do within five years. That’s the time period I would give. The second immediate goal is to see the development of some top-tier talent, so that we get to watch Indians in the NBA and WNBA in the future,” remarked Silver. As NBA keeps doing everything possible to spread its wings in India, one can anticipate the league to have much better following this time around.
Rivals clash on first day
Los Angeles rivals, Lakers and Clippers, are set to cross swords on the opening day of the 74th season. Boasting of strong squads on paper, both sides from the Western Conference should mount a title challenge. Lakers has two superstars – Lebron James and Anthony Davis – in its ranks and they make for a deadly duo.

For Clippers, the additions of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George have done a world of good. But the outfit is suffering a minor setback as George will be fully fit only in November after injuring his shoulder in the pre-season. Toronto Raptors (Eastern Conference) and New Orleans Pelicans (Western Conference) will kick-start the league on Wednesday.

Watch NBA 2019-20 season live and exclusive from October 23 onwards only on Sony Pictures Sports Network

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