The NBA announced this Wednesday that the Mavericks will be heading to Spain to play a preseason match against none other than Real Madrid. The Dallas club will compete against the reigning EuroLeague champions on Tuesday, October 10 at the WiZink Center.
This matchup will be historic, not only because it marks 35 years since the first ever NBA game was played in Spain, but also because it means the return of young legend Luka Doncic playing against the team that saw his basketball debut.
The four-time All-Star and All-NBA first team athlete first joined Real Madrid when he was 13, becoming the youngest-ever MVP back in the 2018 EuroLeague competition. Alongside the Slovenian guard, will be Kyrie Irving, who is a 2016 NBA champion.
¡Hola, Madrid! We’re headed to Spain for a special preseason game 🇪🇸🏀
— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) August 30, 2023
As for the team from the Spanish capital, they will feature their own legend Sergio Llull, and many former NBA athletes such as Mario Hezonja, Sergio Rodríguez, Rudy Fernandez and Džanan Musa. Not only has Real Madrid conquered the most EuroLeague titles (11) in history, they also possess the record for most La Liga ACB championships (36).
This will be the first time in 7 years that an NBA squad travels to Spain for a preseason game, back when Madrid hosted the Oklahoma City Thunder. In 1988, the famous Boston Celtics also performed against them.
“Bringing the live NBA experience directly to our passionate international fans is an important part of our year-round efforts to grow basketball and the NBA around the world,” said Mark Tatum, NBA Deputy Commissioner. “We’re excited for the Mavericks to play Real Madrid and look forward to engaging with fans from Spain and across Europe around this historic matchup.”
As for Dallas CEO Cynt Marshall, he feels excited to please all the Mavericks’ fans from Spain and show off their mutual admiration for Doncic.
“Following our preseason games in Abu Dhabi, we are thrilled to play the game we love for the MFFLs in Madrid,” he said. “Our team is lucky to have one of the greatest international NBA ambassadors in Luka, and we look forward to connecting with Real Madrid and their fans.”
For the Spanish club, it will be an honor to compete against an NBA team which has a former Madrid star
Tickets for the exhibition match will go on general sale this Thursday, August 31, as fans can check Real Madrid’s website for further detail. The contest will also air live in the United States on NBA TV and Bally Sports Southwest.
“Facing an NBA team is always special, but on this occasion even more so, as it will give us the opportunity to once again enjoy a Real Madrid legend and NBA star like Luka Dončić, who proudly carries the name of our club and presumes of being a Madridista wherever he goes,” said Felipe Reyes, Real Madrid Ambassador. “It will be a great spectacle and a very exciting moment for all madridistas and basketball lovers.”
Check out the video above to witness Doncic’s debut with the Madrid jersey as a 16-year-old.
In the past, Spain has provided a total of 16 players to the NBA, including recent Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Pau Gasol.