The Nets will host Franca Basquete, the South American champion and Brazilian league finalist, in a preseason game at Barclays Center on October 4, the São Paulo team confirmed Wednesday.
Both ESPN Brasil and Globo Sports had reported the match-up, with Globo reporting the date Tuesday. Franca is currently playing the finals of Brazil’s NBB. A win Saturday would crown them champion.
Although there’s been no official word from the Brooklyn side yet, Franca’s coach talked about the game —and the honor it represents for the club.
“Undoubtedly facing a team there (in the US) is a milestone in the history of Franca basketball. It is a unique experience, we hope to live up to the event,“ the coach, Helinho, told Globo.
And promotional material for the game was posted on Instagram...
The game will likely be the preseason opener. The NBA usually schedules international preseason games early in October. The Nets will also play the Lakers in China this preseason, facing L.A. on October 10 in Shanghai, then two days later in Shenzhen. The Nets played four preseason games last year, two against the Knicks.
Last year, the two teams that played in China, the Mavericks and 76ers, were given eight and nine days before between the China Games and opening night.
Nets scout and development coach, Tiago Splitter, got his start in the NBB before playing in Spain, then in the NBA. The Nets according to Adam Silver are always the first to raise their hand when the league seeks international commitments.
During the Mikhail Prokhorov era, the Nets have traveled to China twice, once in 2010 when they played the Rockets and again in 2014 when they played the Kings, both in preseason. They also traveled to Mexico City for two regular season games vs. the Thunder and Heat in 2017 and last preseason, they were in Montreal for a game vs. the Raptors.
Moreover, Brooklyn has twice hosted Euroleague teams in the preseason, Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2014 and Fenerbahce in 2015.