For Lionel Hollins, this is his fifth trip to Africa --and his second trip in two years. For Billy King, it's his first. Both are taking part in the NBA's historic first game on the continent Saturday in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Saturday.
For Hollins, the game is a particular honor. He will coach Team World, a group of NBA all-stars from outside the continent, vs. Team Africa, a team made up of All-Stars with African connections. It's being coached by Gregg Popovich. Among those who Hollins will coach, the Gasol brothers and Chris Paul.
"Adam Silver announced that the game was going to be played with all NBA players, which is a historic moment setting foot on the continent of Africa," said Hollins. "Having all NBA players play in this game is going to be huge. I’m looking forward to going and playing. I know there will be a lot of good players."
The NBA has been going to Africa with Basketball Without Borders for years. The captain of Team Africa, Luol Deng, is a "graduate" of BWB, in fact. Billy King and Nigerian native --and Toronto GM-- Masai Ujiri are serving as general managers for the African team.
ESPN will air the NBA Africa Game 2015 live at 9 a.m. ET on Saturday, then re-air the telecast on the same day, at 6 p.m. For more information on the full rosters and players, visit nba.com/Africa.
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