The Orlando Magic will face the Toronto Raptors in London at The O2 Arena on Jan 14, as part of the NBA’s Global Games 2015-16 extravaganza.
In conjunction with Anschutz Entertainment, tickets for the Global Games event will go on sale with the start of the upcoming NBA season and fans will be able to register for preseason opportunities by signing up for NBA All-Access. The game will mark the league’s sixth regular season battle on London soil. Tickets are already available on international ticket reseller Ticketbis.
Then led by four-time NBA champion and Top 50 all-time great Shaquille O’Neal, the Magic first visited London more than 20 years ago for a pair of exhibition games. As recently as 2011, the upstart Raptors became the first team in league history to play back-to-back regular season games in Europe.
"We look forward to returning to London next season with a regular season game between the Orlando Magic and the Toronto Raptors,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “This underscores our commitment to growing basketball in the region and to bringing more regular season basketball to our fans in the UK."
And the fans of London will be treated to a tilt between two of the league’s emerging franchises that have some very promising talent on the rise. Under new coach Scott Skiles, the Magic boast an all-under 24-year-old core of Nikola Vucevic (19 points, 10 rebounds, two assists), Victor Oladipo (18 points, four rebounds, four assists), Tobias Harris (17 points, six rebounds, two assists), Elfrid Payton (nine points, seven assists, four rebounds), Aaron Gordon (five points, four rebounds) and incoming rookie Mario Hezonja.
"On behalf of the Magic organization, we are looking forward to returning to London for NBA Global Games 2016,” said Skiles, who is also a former Magic player that was on the O’Neal-led squads two decades ago. “I remember playing in London with the Magic in 1993 and I am sure our current players will relish this unique opportunity."
Against the reigning Atlantic Division champion Raptors, the Magic will need to be in prime form to have any chance of returning to the States in the winner’s circle. DeMar DeRozan (20 points, five rebounds, four assists), Kyle Lowry (18 points, seven assists, five rebounds) and Jonas Valanciunas (12 points, nine rebounds) led Toronto to a franchise-record 49 wins last season, en route to their division title.
"NBA Global Games 2016 in London is a great platform for our players and staff to represent the NBA and bond with Raptors fans overseas,” said Toronto coach Dwane Casey. “We look forward to an exciting atmosphere for our game against the Magic."
In addition to the action, NBA Global Games London will also feature a variety of off-the-court activities, including NBA Cares community programs and interactive fan events.