London is calling the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Bucks will play a regular-season game against the New York Knicks on January 15, 2015 in London’s O2 Arena. The game is part of the league’s Global Games program. NBA Global Games 2015 also includes a regular-season contest between the Houston Rockets and Minnesota Timberwolves in Mexico City plus another five preseason games in Germany, Turkey, Brazil and China.
Of course, the Bucks will be the home team and the Knicks will be the road team. Surprise, surprise.
The game will be Milwaukee’s first ever regular season game overseas. They played two games in China in 2008, games presumably scheduled before the Bucks traded away Yi Jianlian (and Bobby Simmons) for Richard Jefferson.
Per the Bucks press release:
With 23 international players listed among the all-time roster, including five currently under contract for the upcoming season, the Bucks have always had an international presence, but their inclusion in NBA Global Games London 2015 will mark the first regular season contest to be played overseas for the Bucks. Milwaukee logged a pair of preseason games in China in 2008, earning a 98-94 win over the Golden State Warriors in Guangzhou before falling 109-108 in a rematch in Beijing.
Well before that, however, the Bucks were one of the pioneers in the NBA when it came to playing basketball on an international stage. Milwaukee played host to the first McDonald’s Open in 1987, competing in a round robin tournament against the Soviet National Team and Tracer Milan, a Euroleague power at the time. The 1987-88 Bucks, coached by Del Harris and led by Terry Cummings, Jack Sikma, Paul Pressey and Sidney Moncrief, rolled to a 2-0 record and paved the way for a wave of expansion for the NBA on the international basketball landscape.
The time difference between England and Milwaukee is six hours, so when the calendar turns to January, get yourself ready for some Thursday afternoon hoops.