It looks like the Philadelphia 76ers are heading across the pond next season to play the Boston Celtics in London next season.
For the Philadelphia 76ers organization, it has been a pretty big week. After losing game after game in the name of The Process and hoping that it will pay off in a better future, it would seem that the NBA thinks the future has arrived.
After finding out on Wednesday that the Sixers will play on Christmas Day against the New York Knicks in the hallowed halls of Madison Square Garden, on Thursday things got even better. It was announced that the team will be heading to London to play possibly their biggest rivals, the Boston Celtics.
The game will take place at London’s O2 Arena on Jan. 11, 2018 and will be considered a home game for the Sixers. It will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet and if you have the means, tickets for the game will go on sale in October.
In addition, the NBA also disclosed the opening day schedule and the Sixers will be playing on national television for the second straight year. They will play the Washington Wizards on the road on October 18 in a game televised on ESPN as well as Comcast SportsNet.
For Sixers head coach Brett Brown, this will be a return to old stomping grounds. He coached the Australian national team there during the 2012 Olympics and sounds anxious to return.
“Participating in NBA London Game 2018 is a great opportunity for our players to compete in front of an international audience at the historic O2 Arena. I have fond memories of coaching the Australian national team in London during the 2012 Olympics. The basketball fans there are very passionate and I am looking forward to playing the Celtics there in January.”
When you combine the fact that the Sixers will be playing the Knicks on one of the biggest days on the NBA calendar and then will represent the league on the international stage as well as play in the nation spotlight for their season opener, it becomes very apparent that something has changed regarding how the NBA views the Sixers.
Once a laughing stock that could only dream of playing on Christmas Day, it would now appear that NBA commissioner Adam Silver is positioning the 76ers as the next big thing.
And who can blame him?
You have Joel Embiid, who is quickly becoming one of the biggest stars of the NBA despite still not playing an entire season. And then you have a pair of first overall picks in Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz playing in their rookie seasons plus the addition of veteran J.J. Redick, and you have all the makings of a team that should and could make the playoffs.
Quite the turnaround from the team that won 10 games just a couple seasons ago.
Everyone knew that once The Process started to bear fruit, it would happen very quickly. But most thought it would take the NBA a bit longer to catch on and realize what the Sixers have been building.
Turns out we were all wrong.
Reserve your space on the Sixers bandwagon now. Something tells me it will fill up fast.