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Posted By Melissa Tzotzis On Mar 7 2011 @ 8:44 am In NBA | 12 Comments

When both – winning Coach Avery Johnson and losing Coach Jay Triano, whose team mind you lost back-to-back regular season games, both walk out of the building peddling about how much their teams learned from their experience, you know the global experiment was a great success! I am giving the NBA two thumbs up on this one!

Yes…the New Jersey Nets made it two wins in a row, yes two… over the Toronto Raptors, in a triple-overtime thriller 137-136 in the second of the two games played this past weekend. The NBA’s vision that globalization is the next step for the growth of the league is beautiful. These two games in London truly are a great testimony to show how the sport is going global. This weekend we got to see a U.S. team with a Russian owner, alongside a French, a Dutch and Slovenian player facing a Canadian team with players from Brazil, Spain, Italy and other countries…and to top it off, the games were in London.

Regardless of the back to back loss, Triano was focused on discussing how nice it was to see his young players grow up on this most global of stages. He also talked about all the lessons they will take from this unique opportunity and the fact that you don’t get many chances in life to make history. Apparently, winning wasn’t in the agenda for the Raptors…but that’s ok, as long as you kids had fun!

Although both teams anchor near the bottom of the Eastern Conference the games had little significance besides marking another milestone in the NBA’s expansion plans. What the Nets and Raptors did Saturday night, however, goes above and beyond what anyone expected. Two teams with a combined 35 wins before the night started, played a wild and by far the best regular season game of this NBA season.

Personally, this European game should definitely be made an annual affair. You can’t tell me the hype around this doesn’t make you want more! Fans from all over the continent found their way to London for the weekend. There were fans that came from all over including Sweden, Germany, Holland, France, Spain, Italy and Russia. There were men, women and children, fans of the teams and fans of the NBA game. They all wanted to be a part of the experience. That, they sure did…! On the back-end of a historic, back to back set of the first regular season games played on European soil — the game played on Saturday, only made it that much sweeter for the sellout crowd that piled into the Arena. And yes, that same crowd rose to their feet in unison and gave both teams a standing ovation before the end of the third and final overtime was played. Cheers to the fans, the teams, the players, the coaches and especially the NBA for these successful and entertaining global games.

Same place, same time …next year?

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