The Russian champion and 2013 Turkish Airlines Euroleague semifinalist is scheduled to play two games on American soil. On October 7, 2013, CSKA will be in Minneapolis to play against the Minnesota Timberwolves, whose 2012-13 roster included former CSKA stars Alexey Shved and Euroleague MVP Andrei Kirilenko as well as former Euroleague champs Nikola Pekovic and Ricky Rubio. Two days later, on October 9, 2013, CSKA will land in San Antonio to face the 2013 NBA finalist Spurs, whose 2012-13 squad included another former Euroleague champ, Manu Ginobili, and three-time All-Euroleague selection Tiago Splitter among six Euroleague alumni.
This will be the third trip for CSKA Moscow to the United States and Canada to play preseason games. In 2008, the Russian powerhouse played against the Orlando Magic (94-66, L) and the Toronto Raptors (86-78, L). In 2010 CSKA crossed the pond again to play games against the Miami Heat (96-85, L), Oklahoma City Thunder (97-89, L) and the Cleveland Cavaliers (87-90, W). CSKA’s victory in Cleveland made it the first European team to have ever beaten an NBA team on United States soil.
The 2013 Euroleague American Tour, like the NBA Global Games scheduled for October in Spain and Turkey, are the latest examples of Euroleague Basketball and the NBA joining forces to promote the sport of basketball and to bring high-level basketball to fans around the world. The NBA and Euroleague Basketball will play two exhibition games in Europe as part of NBA Global Games, which includes eight NBA teams playing in eight cities in six countries this October. The Oklahoma City will open the schedule in Istanbul, Turkey on Oct. 5 against the five-time Turkish champion Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul at the Ulker Sports Arena, while the Philadelphia 76ers will take on Uxue Bilbao Basket on Oct. 6 at the Bizkaia Arena at the BEC. The Thunder and 76ers complete their European schedule with a game against each other on Oct. 8 at the Manchester Arena for the league’s first game in Manchester, England.
Andrey Vatutin, PBC CSKA President and CEO:
It was always an honor and pleasure for CSKA to participate in joint projects of Euroleague and NBA. We had a chance to host NBA team on our arena once, we played on American soils several times, and all the games were interesting and historical. Despite the fact that the preseason oversea travel is a serious trial for the team, I think it is important to test our renewed roster. Also these games will be a big challenge for our players and coaches. It’s great to have two most international teams as our opponents. Initially it was our idea to play against Minnesota and San Antonio; thanks to Euroleague and NBA our wishes were heard. We will be glad to visit Alexey Shved as well as to face one of the most successful clubs of modern times, San Antonio, the 2013 NBA Playoffs finalist. I know that the visit to Texas will be especially pleasant for Ettore Messina who has longtime friendly relationships with the Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich as well as the team’s star Manu Ginobili.
Roser Queraltó, Euroleague Basketball Chief Business Development Officer:
We are very proud to announce the Euroleague American Tour after three successful editions in 2009, 2010 and 2012. We consider that these games reflect the global reach of basketball and bring fans the opportunity to witness the best teams in the world playing against each others. We would like to thank CSKA Moscow for its participation and the NBA for a fruitful collaboration we have been developing in recent years.
Ben Morel, Senior Vice President, NBA Europe:
The NBA and Euroleague Basketball teams have a long history of competition in both Europe and the United States that stretches back more than three decades. These games featuring the Minnesota Timberwolves, San Antonio Spurs, and CSKA Moscow build on our previously announced NBA Global Games contests in Istanbul and Bilbao and further our partnership with Euroleague Basketball to grow the sport of basketball globally.