Fenerbahce to face NBA squads in preseason for fourth straight season
Euroleague Basketball and the NBA announced that Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul will play a pair of preseason games against NBA teams in the United States in October as part of the Euroleague Basketball World Tour 2015. Six-time Turkish champion Fenerbahce will face the Brooklyn Nets on Monday, October 5 at Barclays Center and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday, October 9 at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
These games mark the fourth season in a row that Fenerbahce plays an NBA team in the preseason, but the first time it will do so in the United States. Fenerbahce previously played Oklahoma City in 2013 in Istanbul. Fenerbahce also played the Boston Celtics in 2012 and San Antonio Spurs last season.
The Euroleague Basketball World Tour lands in Brooklyn for the second year in a row after Maccabi Tel Aviv visited last season. Brooklyn features former Fenerbahce scorer Bojan Bogdanovic, who will welcome his former teammates, as well as seven-time NBA All-Star Joe Johnson and star center Brook Lopez.
Oklahoma City is led by former NBA MVP Kevin Durant, four-time NBA All-Star Russell Westbrook and Spanish national team forward Serge Ibaka. Fenerbahce reached the 2015 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four, led by legendary coach Zeljko Obradovic, an eight-time Euroleague champion, and by Bogdan Bogdanovic, a two-time Euroleague Rising Star Trophy winner.
The Euroleague Basketball World Tour 2015 will also feature two games in the United States between Euroleague clubs: Maccabi Tel Aviv and Olimpia Milan will meet each other in Chicago on Thursday, October 1 and in New York on Sunday, October 4. Their two games will be the first in history between European clubs in North America.
Other Turkish Airlines Euroleague clubs will compete in a series of preseason exhibition games in Europe and Asia, too. Real Madrid and Olimpia Milan will host Boston as part of the NBA Global Games; Panathinaikos Athens will play the Zhejiang Lions and Guangdong Tigers in late September in China; and more games will be announced shortly.
"We are pleased to again have the opportunity to partner with the NBA and send Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul to Brooklyn and Oklahoma City in the Euroleague Basketball World Tour," Roser Queralto, Euroleague Basketball Chief Business Development Officer, said. "These games allow basketball fans around the globe the chance to see some of the best teams in the world play each other. After Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul hosted Oklahoma City two years ago, it is nice to see the same teams meet again on American soil."
"It is great that Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul is making the trip out to Oklahoma City this year after having already played a very exciting match-up in Istanbul in 2013," said Benjamin Morel, NBA EMEA Senior Vice President & Managing Director. "Through our continued collaboration with Euroleague, we make sure that fans on both sides of the Atlantic can experience an amazing preseason and that we continue to grow the game."
"It is a historical moment for our club to cross the ocean and play in Brooklyn and Oklahoma City. It will be a unique opportunity to keep promoting the growth of the game in Turkey and at the international level," said Maurizio Gherardini, Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul General Manager. "We also hope that the Turkish community will have a chance to come to the games and cheer for us. We would like to thank the NBA and Euroleague for making this happen, as well as the Nets and the Thunder for hosting us."
"We are excited to be hosting Fenerbahce, as it will be a reunion for Bojan Bogdanovic with his former team," said Brooklyn Nets General Manager Billy King. "Our fans will have an opportunity to see one of the best coached teams in all of Europe when they come to Brooklyn."
"Fenerbahce was a very gracious host when we traveled to Istanbul to play them two years ago, and with them coming to Oklahoma City this preseason, it is an incredible opportunity for our community to demonstrate the values and hospitality that make our city who we are," said Oklahoma City Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. "The regularity of preseason NBA games against international opponents represents a continued growth of the game that we embrace and celebrate."