November 1, 1946
Henry Biasatti of Italy, the first international player in the league, played in the very first game of the Basketball Association of America, the NBA’s predecessor, for the Toronto Huskies, who lost to the New York Knicks 68-66.

January 16,1963
Thomas Meschery, a son of Russian immigrants, who was born in Manchuria, China, became the first international player to play in an All-Star Game in 1963. The East All-Stars defeated the West 115-108.

August, 1979
The Washington Wizards (then Bullets led by Head Coach Dick Motta visited China in 1979 and played two exhibition games against the Chinese National basketball team and the Bayi Rockets team.

September 24, 1985
As part of the cultural and educational agreements between China and the United States, the Chinese national basketball team arrived in New York to begin a month of training and practice against NBA teams, including New York, New Jersey, Indiana, Chicago, Washington and Cleveland. Known as the NBA-China Friendship Tour, the Chinese team trained with then-Boston Celtics assistant coach Ed Badger while getting special instruction from NBA Legends Red Auerbach and Pete Newell.

November 6, 1985
Georgi Glouchkov, a 6-8 center from the Bulgarian National Team, debuted for the Phoenix Suns, becoming the first player from an Eastern European country ever to play in the NBA.

October 23, 1987
The Milwaukee Bucks defeated Tracer Milan of Italy, 123-111, in the opening game of the first McDonald’s Open, held at the Milwaukee Arena. The Bucks defeated the Soviet National Team, 127-100, in the championship game of the tournament sponsored by the NBA and FIBA.

July 25, 1988
The Atlanta Hawks became the first NBA team to play in the Soviet Union when they defeated the Soviet Georgia All-Stars, 85-84, in an exhibition game as part of their July 20-31 tour.

October 24, 1988
In the first McDonald’s Championship in Europe, the Boston Celtics defeated Real Madrid 111-96 at the Palacio de Deportes in Madrid Spain.

January 29, 1989
As a result of a joint venture between the NBA and the U.S.S.R. State Committee for Television and Radio (“Gosteleradio”), a New York-Boston game from January 3 aired on Soviet national television on Sunday at 12:55 P.M. (Moscow time). The game marked the first NBA game ever aired on Soviet national television.

April 7, 1989
FIBA, the International Basketball Federation, voted to drop restrictions on professional basketball players competing in international events such as the Olympics.

April 22, 1989
The NBA and British Satellite Broadcasting reached agreement to broadcast 40 games per season in the United Kingdom starting with the 1989-90 season. The games represent the first-ever weekly series of live NBA games to be broadcast overseas.

June 27, 1989
For the first time ever, the NBA Draft broadcast live in prime time by TBS from the Felt Forum in New York. The NBA Draft previously had only been televised during the day. The Sacramento Kings selected Louisville center Pervis Ellison first overall.

October 12, 1989
The NBA joined ABA/USA, the United States’ representative in FIBA. ABA/USA changed its name to USA Basketball.

October 22, 1989
In its third year, the McDonald’s Championship moved to Rome, Italy. This time, the Denver Nuggets represented the NBA against the Spanish Champion F.C. Barcelona, the European Champion Jugoplastika Split, and Philips Milan. The Nuggets defeated Barcelona in their tournament opener and went on to defeat Jugoplastika Split 135-129 to capture the title.

November 3, 1989
Sarunas Marciulionis and Alexander Volkov became the first players from the then-Soviet Union to participate in a regular season NBA game. Marciulionis scored 19 points as Golden State lost to Phoenix 136-106, and Volkov was held scoreless as Atlanta was defeated by Indiana 126-103.

November 18, 1989
For the first time in NBA history, two players from the Soviet Union met on the court--Atlanta’s Alexander Volkov and Golden State’s Sarunas Marciulionis, who were teammates on the Soviet team that won the gold medal at the 1988 Olympics in South Korea. On this night, Volkov came out on top, as the Hawks downed the Warriors 112-96.

April 17-19, 1990
In Zaragoza, Spain, the NBA conducts its first-ever World Coaching Clinic as Coach Jack Ramsay works with hundreds of European-based coaches in conjunction with the European Final Four tournament.

October 13, 1990
The 1990 McDonald’s Championship took place in Barcelona, Spain with the New York Knicks, Scavolini Pesaro, POP 84 Split, and F.C. Barcelona competing for the title. In a thrilling overtime opener, the Knicks, led by All-Star Patrick Ewing, beat the Scavolini Pesaro and then defeated POP 84 Split, 117-101, in the final.

October 27, 1990
“Inside Stuff,” a weekly half-hour highlight show produced by NBA Entertainment, debuted.

November 2, 1990
The Phoenix Suns defeated the Utah Jazz, 119-96, at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium in Japan. This was first regular season game played outside North America by any major professional sports league. The teams also met the next afternoon in Tokyo, with the Jazz winning, 102-101.

April 16-18, 1991
The began its second year of the NBA World Clinics with Jack Ramsay, Hubie Brown and Calvin Murphy conducting a clinic in Paris, France for European coaches in conjunction with the annual European Final Four. The clinics were conducted on global basis as the NBA began its efforts to grow the sport of basketball.

September 21, 1991
USA Basketball announced the “Dream Team” for the 1992 Olympics: Charles Barkley, Larry Bird, Patrick Ewing, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, Chris Mullin, Scottie Pippen, David Robinson, and John Stockton. USA Basketball named Christian Laettner and Clyde Drexler to the team on May 12, 1992.

October 19, 1991
The “city of lights” was the site for the 1991 McDonald’s Championship. The Los Angeles Lakers traveled to Paris, France to compete against the host team CSP Limoges, Joventut Badalona and Slobodna Dalmacija Split of the former Yugoslavia. With Magic Johnson at the helm, the Lakers defeated CSP Limoges before edging out Joventut Badalona 116-114 to win the title.

October 20, 1991
The Miami Heat defeated the Washington Bullets 109-98 in an exhibition game at the Crystal Palace Resort in Nassau, Bahamas.

October 21, 1991
NBA Entertainment announced plans to produce its second weekly television series entitled “NBA Action,” a half-hour highlight show designed to be distributed nationally and internationally.

March 10, 1992
The NBA opened its first office outside North America in Hong Kong, Asia. (NBA Asia)

April 14, 1992
In Istanbul, Turkey, the league began its third year of a series of coaching clinics, called the NBA World Clinic Tour . The Tour included activities in Israel, Sweden, Belgium, Russia, Mexico, Argentina, Australia, Japan, Taiwan and China.

June, 1992
As part of its commitment to promote the sport of basketball around the world, the NBA opened its first office in Melbourne, Australia (NBA Australia, Ltd.).

August 8, 1992
The USA Olympic Men’s Basketball Team, nicknamed the “Dream Team” and featuring NBA stars (Charles Barkley, Larry Bird, Clyde Drexler, Patrick Ewing, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, Chris Mullin, Scottie Pippen, David Robinson, John Stockton) for the first time, defeated Croatia, 117-85, to win the Gold Medal at the Barcelona Olympics.

September 10, 1992
NBA held first day of its three-day World Clinic at the Central Universitario Mexico Gymnasium, marking it the first NBA event ever to be held in Mexico.

October 27, 1992
The Houston Rockets defeated the Dallas Mavericks, 104-102, in a preseason game held at the Mexico City Sports Palace before a crowd of 19,527. It was the first NBA preseason game ever played in Mexico.

November 6, 1992
Two years after becoming the first major professional sports league to play regular season games outside of North America, the NBA returned to Japan for a pair of games to open the 1992-93 season. Shawn Kemp’s 29 points and 20 rebounds led Seattle to a 111-94 win over Houston before a sellout crowd of 15,640 at Yokohama Arena. The SuperSonics completed a Far East sweep the next afternoon with an 89-85 win.

July 1993
The NBA opened its first European office in Geneva, Switzerland (NBA Europe, S.A. Geneva).

August 1993
Jam Session made its debut in Australia. By popular NBA Inside Stuff host, Ahmad Rashad, it was staged in Sydney and Melbourne and featured both mascots and players, including Hakeem Olajuwon, Muggsy Bogues and Buck Williams.

August 1993
The NBA’s Dikembe Mutombo, Alex English, Bob McAdoo, and an assortment of officials and coaches, traveled to Kenya, Zaire and South Africa for basketball youth clinics and to mark South Africa’s return to the international sporting world. One of the highlights of the group’s tour of South Africa was meeting Nelson Mandela, head of the African National Congress who spent 27 years in prison.

October 18, 1993
NBA Commissioner David J. Stern and the Secretary General of the International Basketball Federation, Boris Stankovic, jointly announced that the Most Valuable Player award for the McDonald’s Championship would be named the Drazen Petrovic Trophy. It honored the late New Jersey Nets star from Crotia that was killed in a car accident in Germany on June 7, 1993.

October 23, 1993
In the finals of the sixth McDonald’s Open, held at the Olympiahalle in Munich, Germany, the Phoenix Suns defeated Italian League champion Buckler Bologna 112-90, as Charles Barkley led all scorers with 28 points. Barkley was awarded the Drazen Petrovic Trophy as MVP of the tournament, after scoring 52 points in two games.

October 24, 1993
Before a sellout crowd of 20,808 at the Mexico City Sports Palace, the New York Knicks defeated the Houston Rockets 103-93 in a preseason matchup, led by 20 points each from Patrick Ewing and Charles Smith.

October 30, 1993
In the first preseason game between two NBA teams ever played in Europe, the Orlando Magic, behind 14 fourth-quarter points from Dennis Scott, defeated the Atlanta Hawks 120-95 before a sold-out crowd of 9,483 at Wembley Arena in the opening of the two-game NBA London Games series.

October 30, 1993
In the first-ever NBA preseason game in Puerto Rico, the Miami Heat defeated the Denver Nuggets 109-103 before a sell-out crowd at San Juan’s Roberto Clemente Coliseum.

November 4, 1993
The NBA Board of Governors awarded an expansion franchise to Toronto, Canada, bringing the total number of teams in the NBA to 28. The Toronto Raptors entered the NBA in 1995-96.

January 7, 1994
The NBA opened its Japan office in Tokyo.

April 3, 1994
“NBA Weekly,” a half-hour magazine show produced by NBA Entertainment for Japan’s TV Tokyo, debuted.

April 27, 1994
The NBA Board of Governors awarded an expansion franchise to Vancouver, Canada, increasing the total number of teams in the NBA to 29. The Vancouver Grizzlies entered the NBA in 1995-96.

June 8, 1994
CCTV-China broadcasted Game #1 of the 1994 NBA Finals live. The network broadcasted all seven games of the NBA Finals, marking the first time every game of the NBA Finals had ever been carried live in China.

July 8, 1994
For the first time, Jam Session, the league’s premiere interactive attraction, traveled to Japan, attracting millions of visitors. Taking place at the American Festival in Chiba, Japan, former President Jimmy Carter and Mrs. Carter and the Crown Prince and Princess of Japan attended the Grand Opening of this event.

August 14, 1994
The U S basketball team, “Dream Team II,” defeated Russia, 137-91, to win the gold medal in the World Championship of Basketball in Toronto, Canada. Shaquille O’Neal, who averaged 18.0 points per game, was named the tournament’s MVP.

October 18, 1994
A sellout crowd of 15,324 at the Palais Omnisports de Bercy in Paris, France watched Golden State defeat Charlotte 132-116, behind Chris Mullin’s game-high 25 points. The game in Paris was one of 11 NBA games played outside the United States during the 1994 preseason.

October 20, 1994
Golden State defeated Joventut Badalona 122-104 at the Pavello Olmpico Pavello de Badalona in Badalona, Spain

October 21, 1994
Miami defeated Atlanta104- 99 at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan, Puerto Rico

October 21, 1994
Charlotte defeated Buckler Bologna 114-107 at the Palazzo Dello Sport Polivante Di Casalecchio in Bologna, Italy

October 23, 1994
Atlanta defeated Miami 103-99 at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan, Puerto Rico

October 29, 1994
On the second day of the two-day “NBA Challenge” in Mexico City, a sellout crowd of 21,268 at the Palacio de los Deportes (Sports Palace) watched Seattle defeat San Antonio 124-95 in the championship game, led by Shawn Kemp’s 29 points and 10 rebounds. In the third place game, Houston defeated the LA Clippers 111-103.

November 4-5, 1994
The Los Angeles Clippers and the Portland Trail Blazers opened the season with two games in Yokohama. The two teams split the series with Portland winning the first game 121-100 and losing the second game 112-95.

November 4-5, 1994
A smaller scale version of Jam Session visited Yokohama during the 1994 NBA Games.

November 12, 1994
NBA All-Star balloting extended beyond the United States for the first time, as ballots were made available to fans at Foot Locker stores in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Canada and Australia.

November 15, 1994
Radio station KAZN-AM in Los Angeles aired a broadcast of the Lakers-Clippers game in Mandarin Chinese, making it the first time an NBA game was broadcast in Chinese in the United States. NBA games had previously been broadcast on radio in the U.S. in Spanish and Navajo Indian.

February 10, 1995
FIBA and the NBA announced that the winner of the NBA Finals will represent the National Basketball Association in the McDonald’s Championship to be played the following October. The McDonald’s Championship, formerly known as the McDonald’s Open, was established as a joint effort by FIBA and the NBA in 1987.

March 1, 1995
NBA opened its Canada office in Toronto, Ontario.

April 3, 1995
The NBA opened its Latin America office in Miami, Florida.

May 1995
The NBA signed a three-year national television deal with CTV (Canada), featuring 33 games per season.

June 28, 1995
The NBA Draft is held for the first time outside the United States in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

October 21, 1995
In front of a sellout crowd of 10,708 at London Arena in London, England, the Houston Rockets defeated Buckler Bologna of Italy, 126-112, in the championship game of the six-team McDonald’s Championship, The Rockets were the first reigning NBA Champions to play in the McDonald’s Championship

October 29, 1995
In the 1995, NBA Challenge, the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Washington Bullets 125-107 and the Detroit Pistons defeated the Bullets in the second game 110-99.

November, 1995
The NBA launched a co-production TV show called NBA Dei Di (NBA Zone) with ATV in Hong Kong and it marked the debut of NBA co-production show in Asia.

November 3, 1995, the NBA’s official site on the World Wide Web, launched for the first time.

November 7, 1995
NBA All-Star balloting tipped off globally for the first time as Foot Locker, World Foot Locker and Kids Foot Locker stores in North America, Europe, Australia and Hong Kong provided ballot boxes for fans to cast their votes. Ballots were produced in French, Spanish, Italian, German, Dutch and English. Fans also continued to vote in NBA arenas and via

December 26, 1995
The NBA Jam Session presented by Fleer, the league’s interactive basketball attraction, opened at the annual Barcelona Children’s Festival in Spain, the first time that Jam Session had ventured onto European soil.

January 1996
The NBA opened its office in London, England (NBA Europe S.A. London).

February 1996
NBA and YTV launched a youth-oriented half-hour basketball magazine show called NBA Dunk Street.

April 21, 1996
The NBA, boosted by the presence of Canadian expansion franchises in Toronto and Vancouver, set an all-time attendance record for the 11th time in 13 seasons after drawing 20,513,218 fans to 1,189 games. The average attendance of 17,252 per game also set a record, with Charlotte leading the league by averaging 24,042 fans per game.

April 1996
Sponsored by Adidas, NBA 2ball was launched in Europe in 500 schools across the United Kingdom.

May 21, 1996
Chicago’s 93-88 home win over Orlando in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals drew an 8.6 rating and a 13.8 share on TNT. With nearly 8.2 million persons tuning in, it was the most-watched NBA game in cable television history.

August 1996
The NBA opened its office in Paris, France (NBA Europe, S.A. Paris).

June 5, 1996
Global television coverage of the 1996 NBA Finals between Chicago and Seattle reached a record 169 countries on six continents in 40 different languages. The Bulls’ 107-90 win in Game 1 at the United Center earned a 16.8 rating and a 31 share on NBC and was viewed in a record 16,111,200 homes.

June 16, 1996
Chicago’s series-clinching victory over Seattle drew an 18.8 rating and a 35 share on NBC, with the game pulling in an estimated 60 million viewers, making it the most-watched NBA game ever on television. The six games of the Chicago-Seattle series averaged a 16.7 rating, ranking second all-time behind the six games of the 1993 Chicago-Phoenix series, which averaged a 17.9 rating.

August 4, 1996
The United States defeated Yugoslavia, 95-69, to capture the Gold Medal at the Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta. The team, comprised of Charles Barkley, Anfernee Hardaway, Grant Hill, Karl Malone, Reggie Miller, Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaquille O’Neal, Gary Payton, Scottie Pippen, Mitch Richmond, David Robinson and John Stockton, was the second-ever Olympic team comprised solely of NBA players.

September 3, 1996
Sponsored by McDonald’s, NBA 2ball was launched for the first time in Mexico resulting in over one million participants.

October 18, 1996
The Indiana Pacers won a close one 98-95 against the Seattle SuperSonics at the NBA Europe Tour at the Deutschlandhalle in Berlin, Germany

October 20, 1996
Seattle defeated Indiana 82-72 at the Palacio de Deportes in Sevilla, Spain

October 26-27, 1996
On the second day of the two-day “NBA Challenge” in Mexico City, a sellout crowd at the Palacio de los Deportes (Sports Palace) watched the Dallas Mavericks defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers 88-86 in the championship game. In the third place game, the Utah Jazz defeated the Phoenix Suns 111-105.

November 7-9, 1996
The 1996 Japan Games moved to the larger Tokyo Dome, where the two games between the New Jersey Nets and Orlando Magic drew over 75,000 fans. The Orlando Magic swept the series against the New Jersey Nets 108-95 and 86-82. The event also marked the first country’s first full-scale Jam Session -- the league’s premiere interactive attraction. Staged at Prism Hall in the Tokyo Dome with more than 10,000 in attendance.

December 12, 1996
NBA games are “cybercast” worldwide over the Internet via and its League Audio Pass for the first time in league history.

February 8, 1997
“NBA Action”, a half hour show of NBA highlights and features, is launched on CTV affiliate stations nationally across Canada.

May 14, 1997
The NBA and TSN signed a new three-year agreement to air NBA games. The deal included: 26 regular season games, including four TSN-produced Toronto Raptors and Vancouver Grizzlies games; playoff games; and special programming such as the Naismith Cup and the NBA Draft.

June 1997
The NBA moved its Geneva office to Paris, making its Paris the “bureau chef” of Europe (NBA Europe, S.A. Paris).

June 21, 1997
The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) opened to a worldwide audience, which exceeded even the most enthusiastic expectations. The WNBA had 15 of the top international women’s pro basketball players on team rosters, including all of the top international stars from the 1996 Olympic Games including Michele Timms of Australia, Janeth Arcain of Brazil, Haixia Zheng of China and Elena Baranova of Russia.

June 5, 1997
The NBA Jam Van visits Canada for the first time as part of the country’s Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa, Ontario.

June 7, 1997
NBA Hoop-It-Up 3-on-3 basketball tour launches in Vancouver. Other stops in Canada were Winnipeg, Edmonton, London, Toronto and Montreal.

July 1, 1997
NBA Jam Van made its first visit to Canada as part of the Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa, the nation’s capital.

August 2-4, 1997
Utah Jazz forward Karl Malone demonstrated his basketball skills and held a clinic for 200 teenagers in Taiwan.

August 2-12, 1997
Forward Grant Hill, with the Detroit Pistons at that time, headed to Asia for the first time to promote basketball in Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Philippines.

August 11-September 17, 1997
L.A. Lakers star center Shaquille O’Neal traveled to 13 countries including Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Philippines, Brazil, Argentina and Chile on the “Shaq Rap ‘N’ Jam Tour” to promote his music and basketball.

August 13-15, 1997
Forward Chris Webber, with the Washington Bullets at that time, traveled to Seoul to promote basketball to the Korea wheelchair basketball team and kids in Korea.

Aug 25-31, 1997
Center David Robinson of the San Antonio Spurs and Forward Joe Smith, with the Golden State Warriors at that time, held basketball clinics to thousands of kids in Taipei, Taiwan; Hong Kong and Beijing, China and officiated at the opening ceremony of NBA Taiwan office.

August 1997
The NBA opened its third major office in Europe in Barcelona, Spain (NBA Europe, S.A. Barcelona).

August 27, 1997
The NBA opened its office in Taipei, Taiwan. David Robinson and Joe Smith were invited to officiate at the opening ceremony in Taipei.

September 1997
Dikembe Mutombo of the Atlanta Hawks and Mwadi Mabika of the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks were the headliners on a special tour to South Africa where the NBA conducted clinics in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg.

October 10-15, 1997
On their tour of Europe, top 11 players from the WNBA visited Bonn, Germany; Paris, France and Como, Italy. In each of the three cities, the players conducted local basketball tournaments and spoke at local schools.

October 16-18, 1997
In 1997, the McDonald’s Championship returned to Paris with the NBA Champions Chicago Bulls taking part. Traveling for the first time outside North America, the Bulls competed against five of the best teams in international competition; Olympiakos Piraeus, Atenas de Cordoba, PSG Racing, F.C. Barcelona and Benetton Treviso. Led by Michael Jordan, the Bulls defeated PSG Racing 89-82 in the semifinals and European champions Olympiakos Piraeus in the final 104-78. During the three-day competition, Jordan scored 55 points in two games and won MVP honors.

October 19, 1997
NBA 2ball was launched in Canada as part of celebrations surrounding the 1997 Naismith Cup in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

October 30, 1997
TSN aired the first episode of “NBA In the Paint”, a new TSN-produced half-hour basketball show.

November 8, 1997
NBA 3-on-3 Mexico 1997 Tour was launched in Monterrey, Mexico. The tour visited Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara.

December 6, 1997
The Houston Rockets defeated the Dallas Mavericks 108-106 in the first-ever NBA regular season game in Mexico. The event marked the first time that the NBA staged a regular season game in Mexico, which joined Japan as the only two countries outside of the United States and Canada to host an NBA regular season game.

January 21, 1998
RDS, Canada’s French-language all-sports cable television station, signs a three-year deal with the NBA to air regular season, playoff and Finals games.

May 24, 1998
The league’s grassroots program NBA 2Ball made its debut in Asia with 96 participants from eight high schools in Taipei, Taiwan. They competed in three categories: Boy’s Division, Girl’s Division and Mixed Division, with each division featuring 24 teams.

June, 1998
The Canadian Tire NBA Hoop-It-Up 3-on-3 basketball tournament tipped off its Canadian tour, during which it visited Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, London, Toronto, and Montreal).

June 22-26, 1998
As part of the NBA’s continued global outreach to grow the game of basketball, Houston Rockets center Hakeem Olajuwon visited Argentina and Brazil to work with young people to improve their basketball skills. Hakeem toured Buenos Aires, Argentina; Sao Paulo, Brazil and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

August 1, 1998
Utah Jazz forward Karl Malone visited Taiwan again and appeared at the 3-on-3 basketball tournament.

August 6-17, 1998
Philadelphia 76ers Guard, Allen Iverson toured Asia and held a series of workshop in Japan, Philippines, Taiwan, Korea and Hong Kong to promote the sport of basketball.

August 13-26, 1998
L.A. Lakers guard, Kobe Bryant traveled to the Philippines, Australia, Korea and Japan to jam with fans at the streetball challenge.

August 16-23, 1998
A team of NBA legends composed of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Moses Malone, Alex English and Kiki Vandeweghe, led by coach Oscar Robertson, played four exhibition games against the Chinese National team in three cities including Shanghai, Hefei and Beijing in China.

July 29-August 5, 1998
Indiana Pacers guard Travis Best and Milwaukee Bucks guard Terrell Brandon visited Malaysia and Taiwan to promote the sport of basketball.

September 26, 1998
The 1998 WNBA Brasil Tour, featuring 12 players from 10 teams, traveled to Sao Paulo and Rio De Janeiro to compete against top teams in Brazil.

October 16-23, 1998
A team of NBA legends composed of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Moses Malone, Alex English and Kiki Vandeweghe, led by coach Oscar Robertson, played four exhibition games against the Chinese National team in three cities including Shanghai, Hefei and Beijing in China.

November 15, 1998
More than 5,000 NBA fans were on hand as the NBA 3x3 Mexico Tour wrapped up its second successful year of grassroots basketball in Mexico City. This year’s tour visited four cities in Mexico: Monterrey, Guadalajara, Mexico City and the northern basketball hotbed of Chihuahua.

May 1999
“NBA Shi Kong” (NBA Space & Time), a Chinese version of “Hoop” magazine, debuted in China. It marked NBA’s first publishing licensing agreement in Asia.

May 1999
Nestle Ice Cream NBA Hoop-It-Up 3-on-3 basketball tournament traveled to six cities across Canada, starting with Winnipeg on May 29-30, 1999. Other cities were Vancouver, Edmonton, London, Montreal and Toronto.

June 26-30, 1999
Minnesota Timberwolves star forward Kevin Garnett made a whirlwind tour of Japan June 26-30 to promote the 1999 NBA Japan Games.

June 30, 1999
Nine internationally-born players were chosen in the 1999 NBA Draft. Three of the nine players were selected in the first round. The draftees included Wang Zhizhi, who became the second international player of Chinese descent to be drafted to the NBA. Sung Tao, who was the first Asian player drafted, was selected by the Atlanta Hawks on the 3rd Round at 67th pick in 1987.

August 6-8, 1999
NBA Jam Session, the NBA’s premier interactive basketball games and skills fan event, made its first-ever visit to Taiwan for three days of non-stop hoops action and entertainment, representing the biggest NBA event ever held in Taiwan to date. Vancouver Grizzlies star forward Shareef Abdur-Rahim, together with Boston Celtics first-year sensation, Paul Pierce, added to the festivities.

August 15-21, 1999
Former Houston Rockets star Clyde Drexler toured Australia and New Zealand Aug. 15-21 to promote the NBA and the sport of basketball. He participated in a variety of basketball-related activities, which received astounding media coverage, throughout both countries.

September 4-5, 1999
Forward Antoine Walker of the Boston Celtics, forward Tracy McGrady then of the Toronto Raptors at that time, and forward Tim Thomas, of the Philadelphia 76ers at that time, traveled to Taiwan to promote hoops at the inaugural Asian Streetball Challenge.

September 14-18, 1999
To help promote the 1999 McDonald’s Championship, San Antonio Spurs’ Tim Duncan made special appearances throughout Milan September 14-18.

September 1999:
Terrell Brandon of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Jason Williams then of the Sacramento Kings participated in events and activities throughout Japan to promote the 1999 NBA Japan Games.

October 11, 1999
The Miami Heat led by superstars Alonzo Mourning and Tim Hardaway, made their first trip overseas for an NBA preseason game when they traveled to Tel Aviv, Israel, to face perennial Israeli champions Maccabi Tel Aviv at Yad Eliyahu Arena. Miami defeated Maccabi 126-91.

October 1999
For the first time since the tournament’s inception, NBA 2ball took place in Italy. To coincide with the McDonald’s Championship in Milan, the grassroots program NBA 2ball took place in 350 schools in the Lombardia Region.

October 14-16, 1999
The 1999 McDonald’s Championship took place at the Fila Forum in Milan, Italy, on October 14-15-16. The bi-annual basketball event was a three-day competition featuring the NBA Champions and five international club champions. The San Antonio Spurs were crowned tournament champion after defeating Vasco De Gama 103-68 in the title game.

October 14-16, 1999
For the 1999 McDonald’s Championships October 14-16, 1999, several Spurs players, as well as the WNBA's Cynthia Cooper and Tina Thompson, teammates from the three-time WNBA Champion Houston Rockets, made special appearances throughout Milan. Mario Elie and Thompson met with fans at a local Champion store one afternoon, several Spurs players signed autographs for hundreds of young fans at McDonald's Galleria next to the Duomo, and Tim Duncan and David Robinson spoke to hundreds of journalists.

October 18, 1999
The Toronto Raptors defeated the Vancouver Grizzlies 110-84 in the Naismith Cup, Canada's annual preseason game, on October 18 at the in Edmonton, Alberta.

October 24, 1999
The National Basketball Association returned to Mexico when the New Jersey Nets and the Golden State Warriors tipped off in a preseason game on October 24 at Mexico City’s Palacio de los Deportes. NBA Mexico ’99 marked the seventh year that NBA teams have competed in Mexico this decade. Golden State defeated New Jersey 117-91.

November 2, 1999
Opening-night rosters included 37 players from 25 countries, showing that the NBA continues to grow more global in nature.

November 6-7, 1999
The NBA has played regular-season games in Japan since 1990. More than 60,000 fans attended the 1999 NBA Japan Games, featuring the Minnesota Timberwolves and Sacramento Kings. Each team tipped off the season with a victory when the Sacramento Kings won the first game 100-95 on November 6 and the Minnesota Timberwolves came back with a vengeance, winning the second game 114-101 on November 7. The event marked the fifth time the league has staged regular season games in Japan.

December 8, 1999
The NBA signed new international television agreements with NTK in Kazakhstan, Melita Sports Channel in Malta, Anem TV Network in Serbia, and with RTVM in Montenegro. With these new deals, the NBA had broadcast relationships with 128 separate television networks airing games and other NBA programming in 205 countries in 42 different languages worldwide throughout the 1999-2000 NBA season.

January 11, 2000
NBA stars Ray Allen (Milwaukee Bucks), Grant Hill (Detroit Pistons) and Alonzo Mourning (Miami Heat) were selected as the final three members of the 2000 USA Basketball Men's Senior National Team, which is scheduled to participate in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. The 12-member USA Men's Senior National Team roster consists of the three players and nine NBA players who were announced on March 10, 1999, and who played on the gold medal winning 1999 USA Basketball Pre-Olympic Tournament of the Americas Team. Named previously to the USA Men's Senior National Team were NBA standouts: Vin Baker (Seattle SuperSonics); Tim Duncan (San Antonio Spurs); Kevin Garnett (Minnesota Timberwolves); Tom Gugliotta (Phoenix Suns); Tim Hardaway (Miami Heat); Allan Houston (New York Knicks); Jason Kidd (Phoenix Suns); Gary Payton (Seattle SuperSonics) and Steve Smith (Portland Trail Blazers).

January 27, 2000
The NBA signed a licensing agreement with Far EasTone, Taiwan’s leading pre-paid telephone card provider, and launched the Far EasTone IF Card NBA Re-charge Card. It marked not only the first time NBA has worked with a telecommunications provider in Asia, but is also the first time worldwide the NBA has licensed a GSM pre-paid card service.

March 1, 2000 TV Daily, a new global video service that provides updates and highlights from the best NBA games of the previous night direct from the NBA, became available. The satellite service still provides viewers with NBA action on a daily basis, including game highlights, scores, post-game coverage, NBA updates and NBA plays of the day. Among the networks signed on to TV Daily are Channel 5 (Israel), MTV (Lebanon), NHK (Japan), TBS (Japan), Infosport (France), Skai (Greece), Canal + (Spain), and TV3 (Spain).

March 26, 2000
NBA star Vince Carter (Toronto Raptors) was added to the 2000 USA Basketball Men’s Senior National Team, which would participate in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. Carter’s addition to the USA team came after previously named team member Tom Gugliotta suffered a serious knee injury on March 10 and underwent reconstructive knee surgery on March 17. Carter’s selection was made by the USA Basketball Men’s Senior National Team Committee.

March 30, 2000
NBA Commissioner, David Stern, addressed the Chinese media via video conference at the NBA Media Spring Gathering in Beijing, China.

April 15, 2000
The National Basketball Association signed a multi-year deal with Pro Star Sports Philippines Inc. to produce, distribute and market NBA licensed apparel and accessories in the Philippines. The NBA Shop, the first of its kind in the Philippines, debuted with a Showtime fashion show at the Glorietta Activity Center in the Philippines.

April 25, 2000
NBA 2ball debuts in the Philippines. A basketball skills game developed to encourage participation from basketball fans of all ages and skill levels, NBA 2ball is presented by McDonald’s in the Philippines. The 2ball program here was open to the public and consisted of five weeks of exciting basketball skills competition conducted in five different SM Malls, starting on April 29 and ending on May 28.

May 4, 2000
Philadelphia 76ers to host Washington Wizards at NBA México 2000. Tickets for the NBA hosted Mexico 2000 game went on sale iMay 12 at the Palacio box office and at all Ticketmaster locations throughout Mexico.

May 11, 2000
Six new multi-lingual public service announcements, featuring some of the NBA’s top international players, debuted around the world this month. Each of the players featured in the 30-second PSAs chose to address problematic issues appropriate for their native countries. The PSAs featured Felipe Lopez (Vancouver Grizzlies), Sean Marks (Toronto Raptors), Predrag Stojakovic (Sacramento Kings), Hakeem Olajuwon (Houston Rockets), and Gheorge Muresan (New Jersey Nets).

May 20, 2000
The second season of the T-D1 NBA Basketball Challenge, presented by the NBA and T-Mobil, began a nine-city tour in Bonn, Germany on May 20-21, 2000. Dallas Mavericks forward and German-born Dirk Nowitzki were the official spokesperson for the tour and made an appearance at the Hamburg event, June 24-25. The T-D1 NBA Basketball Challenge is open to players of all ages and skills and will feature competitive 5-on-5 full-court games with referees. One of the highlights of the tour will be the National Finals, scheduled for July 15-16 in Berlin. The finalists of the top divisions in each of the nine tour cities will automatically qualify.

May 27, 2000
NBA Hoop-It-Up 2000 Slam Dunks into Calgary, Canada. 3-on-3 Basketball Event Makes Inaugural Visit May 27-28. Hoops players strut their stuff in the streets of Calgary on May 27 and 28 when the NBA Hoop-It-Up 3-on-3 basketball tournament makes its first-ever visit to Canada Lands. This visits NBA Hoop-It-Up 2000 marks the beginning of a 7-city tour throughout Canada.

June 8-July 7, 2000
A team representing the NBDL was one of six teams competing in the 2000 Asian Basketball Association League. The team called the NBA Ambassadors led by Hall of Famer Nate “Tiny” Archibald, was one of two squads representing Hong Kong competed in a six-week 20-game regular season against teams from China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan from June 8 to July 7.

June 28, 2000
A record fourteen internationally born players were chosen in the NBA Draft 2000, held at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A record seven of the 14 players were selected in the first round.

July 13, 2000
Mike Jones, Rasul Salahuddin, and Wayman Strickland led the NBA Ambassadors to a 103-68 victory over China’s CBA All-Stars in the decisive third game of the Asian Basketball Association League championship series. The NBA Ambassadors, coached by Hall of Famer Nate “Tiny” Archibald, represented the NBA’s new developmental league (the National Basketball Developmental League) in the six-team ABAL.

July 17, 2000
Vancouver Grizzlies 6-9 star forward Shareef Abdur-Rahim was named to the 2000 USA Basketball Men's Senior National Team, which was expected to participate in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. Abdur-Rahim's addition to the USA team came after previously named team member Grant Hill withdrew from the team because of a broken ankle suffered April 25 during the NBA Playoffs. Abdur-Rahim's selection was made by the USA Basketball Men's Senior National Team Committee.

July 28-August 8, 2000
A two-week NBA 2ball tournament was launched in Taiwan on July 28. NBA 2ball, presented by McDonald’s in Taiwan, was open to the public and the two-week competition was conducted in Taichung and Taipei July 28-August 8. In addition to NBA 2ball, NBA Jam Session, the NBA’s premier interactive fan event, showcased some of its most popular attractions. It represented the largest NBA event ever held in Taiwan to date.

August 1, 2000
Sacramento Kings Guard, Jason Williams traveled to Taiwan to participate in the Hip Hoop Club/MTV Party which consisted of a 2-on-2 basketball contest with fans and a dribbling demonstration.

August 7-14, 2000
Orlando Magic star Forward, Grant Hill returned to Asia to tour Taiwan, Philippines and Hong Kong as part of a grassroots effort to promote the sport of basketball.

August 9, 2000
The NBA Jam Session made its first visit to the city of Lisbon, Portugal. San Antonio Spurs guard Mario Elie was the official spokesperson for the NBA Jam Session in Lisbon, Portugal, scheduled for August 9-13. The NBA Jam Session is a fun-filled event that captures the sights and sounds of the NBA through interactive basketball activities.

August 11-17, 2000
The NBA Legends Tour, featuring a star-studded team of former NBA players including Clyde Drexler, Buck Williams and Rolando Blackman led by Head Coach Rick Barry returned to China in August with a series of games against the Sydney Olympic Bound Chinese Men’s National Basketball team. Three international exhibition games were staged in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai against the Chinese Men’s National Basketball team which served as final preparation for China National team to get a medal in Sydney. The first game was played in Beijing on Aug 11 and the NBA Legends took a 79-73 win over the China National Team. The second game was played in Guangzhou on Aug 14 and Eddie Johnson scored 21 points to lead the NBA Legends to a 90-77 victory. The NBA Legends lost to China 79-60 in the finale of the three-game series in Shanghai on Aug 17.

August 23-27, 2000
Orlando Magic Forward Tracy McGrady and Milwaukee Bucks Forward Tim Thomas visited Manila of the Philippines and met streetball champions from different parts of Asia at the Asian Streetball Challenge.

August 31-September 4, 2000
Boston Celtics Forward Paul Pierce flew to the Philippines to play hoops with fans at the Asian 3-on-3 Finals.

Sept. 11, 2000
NBA head coaches Rudy Tomjanovich (Houston Rockets) and Larry Brown (Philadelphia 76ers) joined their fellow Team USA coaches Gene Keady and Tubby Smith in Australia's first "NBA Coaches' Clinic" on September 11 at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre. Over 300 Australian coaches attended the two-hour session.

October 1, 2000.
The United States Men’s Olympic team beat France 85-75, to capture the Gold Medal in the Sydeney Olympics. The team, comprised of Shareem Abdur-Kahim, Ray Allen, Vin Baker, Vince Carter, Kevin Garnett, Tim Hardaway, Allan Houston, Jason Kidd, Antonio McDyess, Alonzo Mourning, Gary Payton and Steve Smith, is the third-ever Olympic team comprised solely of NBA players. The United States Womens basketball team won gold when they beat the Australian Basketball team. The U.S team, comprised of mostly WNBA players, were able to defend their gold medal by beating the host country’s team 76-54.

October 12, 2000
Naismith Cup, the annual all-Canada preseason game at the Corel Center in Ottawa, Ontario brought a victory for the Toronto Raptors over the Vancouver Grizzles with a score of 97-92.

October 14, 2000
Philadelphia 76ers hosted the Washington Wizards at the NBA Mexico 2000. Once again an overwhelming crowd of 17,824 arrived at the Palacio de los Deportes to watch the 76ers preseason 84-80 victory over the Wizards.

October 30, 2000.
The NBA hit a record number of international players with 46 NBA players from 28 countries and territories outside of North America. The 2000 draft contributed to the recruitment of 14 of these 46 international players alone, and reinforces the fact that the NBA has a global appeal.

November 28, 2000
NBA 2ball tips off across Europe in Spain, UK, Italy and Germany. This is a sweepstakes competition where the winners, accompanied by their teachers, competed for a grand prize four-day trip to Washington DC for NBA All-Star 2001, which includes NBA Jam Session, NBA All-Star Saturday and the NBA All-Star game.

December 10, 2000
Jerome Moiso of the Boston Celtics and Tariq Abdul-Wahad of the Denver Nuggets become the first players hailing from France to ever compete against each other in an NBA game at Boston’s Fleet Center.

February 2001
The NBDL "Ambassadors," coached by Nate "Tiny" Archibald, participated in the 6th Annual South American League Basketball Championship. The select group of players competed throughout Argentina and Brazil, where they also took part in community relations efforts, such as clinics, autograph signings and press events. Brazilian team Flamengo defeated the Ambassadors during the quarterfinals.

February 9-12, 2001
The NBA and ESPN held the first-ever “NBA All Star 2001 Million Dollar Shot” in Taipei, Taiwan. Former New Jersey Heat Net Coach Don Casey hosted a special training session for the 8 finalists of the challenge.

June 1-24, 2001
The NBA Madness mall tour, an interactive traveling road show featuring a variety of basketball games traveled to Manila, Iloilo and Cebu of Philippines attracted 2,800 participants over four weekends and approximately 10,000 spectators per weekend.

March 14, 2001
The United Nations (UN) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) jointly announced Eduardo Najera of the Dallas Mavericks as the UN Goodwill Ambassador for Sports Against Drugs and was featured in an anti-drug public service campaign. The television spot featured Najera denouncing drug abuse and promoting sports participation. "Not much has changed since I grew up in Chihuahua, Mexico. There are still young boys and girls with their whole lives ahead of them, facing difficult decisions," said Najera in the PSA. “I had a dream to be a professional basketball player, but that’s not why I avoided drugs. I avoided drugs so I could give myself a greater opportunity in life.” Vlade Divac of the Sacramento Kings was last year’s Ambassador.

March 25, 2001
The second annual Dunk ‘n’ Funk celebrity basketball event took place at London’s Crystal Palace Indoor Stadium to assist the BPAMT (British Performing Arts Medicine Trust). The event attracted an audience of 750 people and was organized by Cup Promotions and the media included Trouble TV, Nickelodeon and XXL magazine.

April 5, 2001
Wang Zhizhi of the Dallas Mavericks made history as the first NBA player from China when he signed with the Mavericks on April 4 and played his first NBA game against the Atlanta Hawks on April 5 where he scored six points. In his first season, he averaged 4.8 points, 1.4 rebounds in 7.6 minutes per game and scored a total of 24 points in five games. Selected by Dallas in the second round of the 1999 NBA Draft (36th selection overall), Wang is one of China's most promising basketball players.

April 10, 2001
New York Knicks center Luc Longley, a native of Australia, was featured in a new worldwide public service announcement against child abuse that debuted around the world including in his native land. “I'm 7 foot 2 and 135 kilograms. There are probably a lot of kids who wish they were as big as I am,” Longley said in the PSA. “Not because they want to play basketball, it's so they can protect themselves from an abusive parent. If you want to get physical with your kid, give 'em a hug.”

April 30, 2001
Don Casey, former coach of the New Jersey Nets and the Los Angeles Clippers, took part in NBA Training 2001 in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Coach Casey conducted a series of basketball clinics for Bosnian youth April 30 in Banja Luke, May 1 in Tuzia and May 2 in Sarajevo. More than 500 young people from all ethnic backgrounds participated in this event, which was intended to foster mutual ties between the United States and the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina, while strengthening relations among the people within Bosnia-Herzegovina. In addition to holding two clinics per day, Coach Casey visited orphanages in each city and met with local sports figures and coaches at events hosted by the U.S. Embassy.

June, 2001
NBA Hoop-It-Up tour, NBA’s official 3-on-3 basketball event, toured Canadian cities throughout June. Hoop-It-Up is to encourage the game of basketball through out the world, where participants aged eight or over form teams and participate in tournament divisions ranging from recreational to elite. In addition to the competitive hoops action, each event features activities for players and spectators, including clinics, shooting contests, slam dunk competitions and the NBA Dribble and Drive Challenge.

June 16-23, 2001
Antawn Jamison of the Golden State Warriors and Jerome Williams of the Toronto Raptors teamed up with players Jiao Jian and Zhang Yuan Song from the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) to treat 1,500 specially invited young Chinese fans to a wide-ranging demonstration of basketball skills. The first major sporting event ever held in the Forbidden City, the demonstration was capped off by a team game of “H-O-R-S-E,” including an impromptu slam-dunk competition between the two NBA forwards.

June 25-30, 2001
Jalen Rose visited three Latin American cities a part of a promotional tour sponsored by Reebok. In each city; Mexico City, Caracas and Santo Domingo, the visit included a youth clinic, news conference and autograph session at a marquee trailer.

June 23, 2001
The T-D1 NBA Basketball Challenge tipped off by visiting nine cities in Germany. Open to players of all ages and abilities, the T-D1 NBA Basketball Challenge is a 5-on-5 outdoor basketball tournament, which has attracted over 29,000 competitors in the past two years. The finalists of the top divisions from each tour city automatically qualified for the National Finals, in Berlin. Thirteen winners from the challenge, traveled to Dallas, Texas, for a Dallas Mavericks game and an opportunity to meet national hero Dirk Nowitzki, a native of Würzburg, Germany. The winners attended the Mavericks game against the Houston Rockets on Saturday, March 3, and also met with Nowitzki, one of the rising stars of the National Basketball Association.

June 29, 2001
Sacramento’s Vlade Divac and Atlanta’s Toni Kukoc, natives of Yugoslavia and Croatia, respectively, headed a group of nine NBA players who conducted a basketball camp in Treviso, Italy June 29 – July 2. The inaugural camp, Basketball without Borders, was for players aged 12-14 from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Slovenia and Yugoslavia in conjunction with FIBA, the NBA and the United Nations.

August, 2001
Participants across Canada tested their dribbling, jumping, passing and shooting abilities in the NBA Dribble and Drive Challenge, a free basketball festival featuring games and skills competitions. Participants receive scores based on their performances and can compare them to NBA players and Challenge participants from across Canada by checking the national results on the Nike National Scoreboard at

August 10-14, 2001
L.A. Lakers guard, Kobe Bryant traveled to Hong Kong and Beijing, China to promote the sports of basketball

September 3-9, 2001
Eleven of the NBA’s top players competed and won the gold medal in the USA Basketball’s Goodwill Games in Brisbane, Australia. The team included Shane Battier (Memphis Grizzlies); Baron Davis (Charlotte Hornets); Marc Jackson (Golden State Warriors); Rashard Lewis (Seattle SuperSonics); Mark Madsen (Los Angeles Lakers); Shawn Marion (Phoenix Suns); Kenyon Martin (New Jersey Nets); Andre Miller (Cleveland Cavaliers); Mike Miller (Orlando Magic); Jermaine O'Neal (Indiana Pacers); Wally Szczerbiak (Minnesota Timberwolves) and Jason Terry (Atlanta Hawks).

September, 2001
Antawn Jamison of the Golden State Warriors and Jerome Williams of the Toronto Raptors teamed up with players Jiao Jian and Zhang Yuan Song from the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) to treat 1,500 specially invited young Chinese fans to a wide-ranging demonstration of basketball skills. The first major sporting event ever held in the Forbidden City, the demonstration was capped off by a team game of “H-O-R-S-E,” including an impromptu slam-dunk competition between the two NBA forwards.

September 20, 2001
For the first time in NBA history, the NBA is forced to cancel its preseason games outside the United States after terrorist attacks on Washington and New York City on Sept. 11. A total of six games slated to take place in Japan, Italy, Germany and Mexico were canceled.

October 30, 2001
A record 52 international players from 31 countries and territories were featured on opening day rosters for NBA teams for the 2001-02 season.

January 3, 2002
Wang Zhizhi of the Dallas Mavericks was honored with a set of legal tender stamps that were unveiled for the first time at a special event at the NBA Store. This tribute to Wang, China’s first NBA player, is part of the Legends of Sports postage stamp series issued by the government of Liberia and produced by IGPC, the world’s largest postal agency that represents more than 70 governments worldwide. In recognition of his contributions to the sport of basketball and as China’s first NBA player, he was immortalized on a commemorative series of postage stamps that are legal tender and valid for postage globally.

January 9, 2002
International rookie sensations Pau Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies (Spain) and Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs (France) head the list of players selected to participate in the 2002 ‘got milk?’ Rookie Challenge on NBA All-Star Saturday, February 9 at the First Union Center in Philadelphia. In addition, Utah’s Andrei Kirilenkio (Russia), Detroit’s Zeljko Rebraca (Yugoslavia) will join Gasol and Parker on the Rookie team while Sacramento’s Hidayet Turkoglu (Turkey) will be on the Sophomore team. The group makes up a record number of international players to compete in the annual All-Star Weekend event.

February 9, 2002
A record 20 international players from 17 countries take part in the NBA All-Star Weekend festivities in Philadelphia. The 2002 NBA All-Star Game featured five international players, including: Steve Nash/Dallas Mavericks/Canada; Dirk Nowitzki/Dallas Mavericks/Germany; Peja Stojakovic/Sacramento Kings/Yugoslavia; Tim Duncan/San Antonio Spurs/US Virgin Isles; Dikembe Mutombo/Philadelphia 76ers/Congo.

February 27, 2002
Mengke Bateer becomes the second player from China to play in the NBA when he joined the Denver Nuggets and records three rebounds in 14 minutes of Denver;s 110-93 loss at Golden State.

April 20, 2002
When the 2002 NBA Playoffs tipped-off, NBA team rosters featured a record 26 international players. When Sacramento played Dallas in the Western Conference semifinals, a record eight international players were featured in the matchup which gained global attention.

April 24, 2002
Memphis Grizzlies forward Pau Gasol of Spain was named the 2002 NBA Rookie of the Year. Gasol gained 117 of the 124 votes for the award.

May 2, 2002
The NBA Dribble and Drive Challenge, a free basketball festival featuring interactive games and skills competitions, tipped off its 2002 tour in Montreal, Quebec. The tour stopped in 16 cities and communities across Canada.

May 9, 2002
San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan of the US Virgin Isles was named the 2002 NBA Most Valuable Player.

May 18-23, 2002
A goodwill tour, featuring Denver Nuggets General Manager Kiki Vandeweghe, Assistant Coach Clyde Drexler, forward Antonio McDyess, guard/forward George McCloud and forward Donnell Harvey, as well as SuperMascot Rocky and members of the Nuggets dance team, visited various United States military bases across Europe.

May 25, 2002
The eight-city NBA Hoop-It-Up 3-on-3 basketball tournament began its summer tour in Calgary, Alberta. In 2002, the first ever NBA Hoop-It-Up event was held in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

June 1-July 21, 2002
The fourth annual NBA Basketball Challenge took place in Germany on June 1-July 21. The event was sponsored by Sprite and toured seven German cities, attracting over 200,000 spectators and 11,700 players. Open to players of all ages and skill levels the Challenge featured competitive 5-on-5 full-court outdoor basketball games with referees. One of the highlights of the tour was the appearance of Dallas Mavericks player Dirk Nowitzki at the tour finals in Berlin.

June 26, 2002
A record 17 international players were selected in the 2002 NBA Draft, held at The Theatre at Madison Square garden in New York. Yao Ming of China was selected by the Houston Rockets with the No. 1 pick while other top picks included Nikoloz Tskitishvili of Rep. of Georgia (No. 5 to Denver Nuggets) and Nene Hilario of Brazil (No. 7 to New York, but traded to Denver).

July 4-7, 2002
The second annual basketball camp, Basketball without Borders, took place in Istanbul, Turkey July 4-7. The basketball camp featured NBA players and professional European basketball players as coaches and mentors to 48 Greek and Turkish basketball players ages 12-14. The list of players included: Antonis Fotsis (Memphis Grizzlies); Ibrahim Kutluay (Panathinaikos BSA Athens); Theodoros Papaloukas (Olympiakos); Dimitri Papanikolau (Olympiakos); Vladimir Radmanovic (Seattle SuperSonics); Peja Stojakovic (Sacramento Kings); Kerem Tunceri (Efes Pilsen); Mirsad Turkan (CSKA Moscow) and Turkish native Hedo Turkoglu (Sacramento Kings).

July 25-July 30, 2002
Three of the NBA’s most popular Latin players returned to their native countries as part of the “Latinos Unidos Tour 2002” to stage youth clinics, autograph sessions and media events, intended to highlight their success in the league and their role model status for Hispanic youths. Dominican guard Felipe Lopez of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Venezuelan guard Oscar Torres of the Houston Rockets tipped-off the tour in Caracas, Venezuela on July 25, followed by a visit to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on July 26-27. Puerto Rican guard Carlos Arroyo of the Denver Nuggets joined the pair on July 28 for two days of activities in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Rockets assistant coach Mike Wells will be traveling with the group to assist with the clinics.

July 24-26, 2002
Vince Carter, the NBA superstar and named “Dr. Funk”, was invited by Nike to visit Beijing, Hong Kong and Taipei. The main objective for this trip was to express Carter’s support for China youth basketball. Carter donated a basketball board to China Basketball Association (CBA) and then was featured as a judge for a youth slam-dunk contest at the National Badminton Training Hall.

July 26, 2002
The NBA announces the first NBA preseason game in the Dominican Republic. NBA República Dominicana 2002 to feature the Miami Heat and the Minnesota Timberwolves on October 11 at the Palacio de los Deportes in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The Miami vs. Minnesota contest will be the 19th game organized by the NBA in Latin America since 1992.

August 3-5, 2002
The Yahoo! Sports NBA Rhythm 'n Rims tour presented by Reebok, the NBA's premier interactive basketball and music tour, visited Toronto, Ontario.

August 3-September 22, 2002
The search for Germany’s basketball stars of the future began on August 3 with the start of the inaugural Sprite DNBA 'Dirk Nowitzki Basketball Academy). This event will test basketball players skills at weekend camps held in six different German cities. NBA assistant coaches will be on-site to select the best players who will attend the ‘Final Academy’ held in Dirk Nowitzki’s home-town of Würzburg. Nowitzki will be at the final to help select the five lucky players who will win a trip to the US.

August 22, 25, 2002
The USA squad played a pair of exhibition games during its training, meeting the Chinese World Championship Team at the soldout Arena in Oakland on Thursday, Aug. 22 (USA 84, China 54) and the German World Championship Team at the Rose Garden Arena in Portland on Sunday, Aug. 25 (USA 91, Germany 73).

August 22-23, 2002
Kevin Garnett of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Chauncey Billups of the Detroit Pistons visit Taipei for the NBA Block Party. It is an open air activity in the tradition of American block party, combining music and street basketball with the two NBA players joining in the action. Five lucky fans in Taiwan win a trip to the US to watch Kevin Garnett and the Timberwolves in action.

August 29-September 8, 2002
The United States World Championship team loses to Argentina, Yugoslavia and Spain at the 2002 FIBA World Basketball Championship for Men in Indianapolis, Indiana, Aug. 29- Sept. 8, 2002. Yugoslavia, led by NBA All-Stars Vlade Divac and Peja Stojakovic won the gold medal in a thrilling overtime win over Argentina. The 12-member USA World Championship Team included NBA standouts such as Elton Brand (Los Angeles Clippers); Antonio Davis (Toronto Raptors); Baron David (New Orleans Hornets); Michael Finley (Dallas Mavericks); Raef LaFrentz (Dallas Mavericks); Shawn Marion (Phoenix Suns); Andre Miller (Los Angeles Clippers); Reggie Miller (Indiana Pacers); Jermaine O'Neal (Indiana Pacers); Paul Pierce (Boston Celtics); Ben Wallace (Detroit Pistons) and Jay Williams (Chicago Bulls). Milwaukee Bucks coach George Karl was the head coach of USA Basketball's 2002 World Championship Team.

September 25, 2002
The United States Women’s World Championship team won the gold medal in a thrilling 79-74 win over Russia in Nanjing, China. Sheryl Swoopes led the team with 18 points while Tamika Catchings added 16 points, 11 rebounds and six steals in the effort. Russia’s Elena Baranova (a former WNBA star) led Russia in their impressive silver medal performance. Australia, behind Lauren Jackson’s (Seattle Storm) 31 points took the Bronze.