Basketball Leaves Positive Mark After NBA India Games

Chronicled by The Athletic's Sam Amick, Sacramento's presence in Mumbai proved to be a history-making success.
by Jordan Ramirez
Digital Managing Editor

"It’s all about [the players]," explained Kings General Manager Vlade Divac.

"We are behind the scenes, and we have to make sure we provide everything for them to hold them accountable after that. If you provide everything, then you can really push what you want from them."

Speaking to Sam Amick of The Athletic, Divac explained the importance of team culture and the growth an organization goes through on such a long trip.

"That’s the idea," continued Divac. "It took me a few years to get it going in this direction. You can’t change it overnight.”

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Amick's journey continued with assistant coach Roy Rana, who held a coaching clinic alongside Pacers assistant Bill Bayno for Indian coaches from the entire region.

“The first time [to India], it blows you away,” Rana said. “You kind of want to get to a safe place as quick as you can, because it’s such a shock to your senses.

It’s challenging, but it’s also very beautiful. It’s also really moving in many different ways, so it doesn’t shock my senses anymore as much. But certainly, the smells, the sounds, the density, it always gives you a unique perspective.”

Finally, Bollywood was a major theme throughout the team's visit. Whether it was stars sitting courtside or the traditional Indian clothing at the team after party - the energy was contagious.

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There’s no party like a Mumbai party!

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"We’re such a heavy cricket nation," said Neha Dhupia, an Indian influencer in attendance for the games.

"The minute you tell your child, ‘What do you want to do?’ It’s not about playing sport, it’s about playing cricket. And that has changed now. Now kids go out and play (basketball), and it's a backyard sport."

To read Amick's full diary of events, you can read his piece on The Athletic.

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