On Saturday, the NBA Europe Live reception started immediately after the arrival of NBA Commissioner David Stern and several NBA players including the Phoenix Suns' Shawn Marion and Steve Nash, the L.A. Clippers' Elton Brand, San Antonio Spurs Tim Duncan and Tony Parker and Philadelphia 76ers' forward Andre Iguodala.
Four NBA teams will tour five countries in October to conduct training camps and a tournament. The collaboration will include participation from the Euroleague and from partners including EA Sports, adidas, Champion, Spalding and Global Crossing.
NBA Commissioner David Stern poses for a photo in front of Tony Parker, Shawn Marion, Andre Iguodala, Elton Brand, Steve Nash and Tim Duncan during the NBA Europe Live Tour press conference at the 2006 NBA All-Star Weekend on February 18, 2006 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. (Garrett Ellwood/NBAE/Getty)
“This is going to be an extraordinary time for our partners. This is a big deal for the NBA,” Commissioner Stern said. “The players of the NBA are the most talented athletic in the world. There is nothing like seeing NBA All-Star players playing live on the court.”
Euroleague Basketball CEO Jordi Bertomeu looks forward to this extraordinary opportunity.
“I am definitely looking forward to this event in October,” Bertomeu said. “We are excited about this tournament. It will be great experience for the European fans. The NBA teams will compete with the best teams in Europe which is great for both competition and promotion.
“The competition will be tough. This has been a great year for basketball in Europe so far. The European teams are very strong teams right now and the level is certainly matching those of the NBA.”
Clippers forward Elton Brand is looking forward to go to Russia in October. The Clippers will play against Unics Kazan and CSKA. Brand said he's been asking Clippers' teammate Yaroslav Korolev for tips on where to go out and where to eat while in Moscow.
Shawn Marion went to Italy last summer for vacation. When asked how he feels about taking part in the training camp in Italy, he said he is definitely looking forward to going back. Marion said that having coach Mike D’Antoni, who played and coached in Italy, at the Europe Live, will make it easier on the Suns as far as getting around and finding great places to eat.
And Frenchman Tony Parker couldn't be more excited.
“The training camp is great for me as I am going back to my country to play there and practice," Parker said. "To play two games in front of the French people is just going to be a great experience.
“I look forward to playing in front of the French fans the most. I´ve been there before (with the Spurs) so I am very lucky to get there again. It is not everyday that I play with the the Spurs in France.”