The Dallas Mavericks are set to showcase their star player, Luka Dončić, alongside NBA All-Star Kyrie Irving, as they prepare for a preseason matchup against Real Madrid. Luka Dončić, a four-time NBA All-Star and member of the All-NBA First Team, made his mark early in his basketball journey by joining Real Madrid at the tender age of 13. His remarkable talent was evident when he led Real Madrid to the 2018 EuroLeague title and became the youngest-ever EuroLeague and EuroLeague Final Four MVP at just 19 years old. Alongside him, Kyrie Irving, a seasoned NBA champion and eight-time All-Star, adds further excitement to the Mavericks’ lineup.
Real Madrid, a basketball powerhouse in Europe, boasts an impressive roster featuring Spanish legend Sergio Llull and former NBA players like Rudy Fernández, Mario Hezonja, Džanan Musa, and Sergio Rodríguez. With an impressive 36 La Liga ACB championships and a record 11 EuroLeague titles, Real Madrid’s legacy in the sport is unparalleled.
The upcoming game in Madrid holds historical significance as it marks the return of the NBA’s preseason action to the city since 2016. The previous event featured Luka Dončić and Real Madrid facing off against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The city also has a prior connection with the NBA, as far back as 1988 when the Boston Celtics engaged in two games against the Yugoslavian Men’s National Team and Real Madrid.
Before the Madrid game, the Mavericks will participate in two preseason matches against the Minnesota Timberwolves as part of The NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2023.
NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum expressed the league’s commitment to expanding basketball’s reach across the globe by bringing the live NBA experience to international fans. Tatum noted the excitement surrounding the Mavericks’ game against Real Madrid and anticipated engagement with fans across Europe.
Dallas Mavericks CEO Cynt Marshall expressed the team’s enthusiasm to play for their fans in Madrid, highlighting Luka Dončić’s role as an international NBA ambassador. Marshall looked forward to connecting with Real Madrid and its fanbase.
Real Madrid Ambassador Felipe Reyes highlighted the significance of the matchup, especially due to Luka Dončić’s ties to both teams. Dončić’s journey from Real Madrid to becoming an NBA star adds a special element to the event, resonating with both Real Madrid supporters and basketball enthusiasts.
Tickets for the game are set to go on sale soon, and fans can access more information on Real Madrid’s website. The game will be broadcasted live in the U.S. on NBA TV and Bally Sports Southwest, with more distribution details to be announced later.
Spain has produced 16 NBA players, including the recently inducted Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Pau Gasol. NBA games have been available to Spanish audiences since the 1987-88 season, and the league’s Madrid office, established in 2007, reflects its commitment to the region. Spanish fans can enjoy NBA games through NBA League Pass on the NBA App, which includes primetime weekend games as part of the “NBA Saturdays and NBA Sundays” initiative during the 2023-24 season.