NEW YORK –Ã‚Â The NBA on ThursdayÃ‚Â released its 2013 preseason schedule, a 116-game slate, which tips off Saturday, Oct. 5, in Istanbul when the Oklahoma City Thunder take on Turkish basketball club Fenerbahce Ulker at Ulker Sports Arena, and concludes Friday, Oct. 25.
The 2013-14 NBA Global Games preseason schedule includes eight NBA teams playing eight preseason games in eight cities. In addition to Oklahoma City’s game in Istanbul, there will be contests in Beijing and Shanghai, China; Bilbao, Spain; Manchester, England; Manila, Philippines; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Taipei. NBA TV will televise all eight international contests, and more than 25 games overall. The full NBA TV schedule for preseason coverage will be released at a later date.
Kevin Durant and the Thunder will head from Turkey to England to face Evan Turner and the Philadelphia 76ers at Phones 4u Arena in Manchester on Oct. 8. Philadelphia will open its overseas play on Oct. 6, in Spain against Bilbao Basket at Bizkaia Arena.
James Harden and new addition Dwight Howard will lead the Houston Rockets against Paul George and the Indiana Pacers in a pair of games: Oct. 10, in Manila at Mall of Asia Arena and Oct. 13, in Taipei at Taipei Arena. The Chicago Bulls, who expect to welcome back Derrick Rose, will face John Wall and the Washington Wizards at HSBC Arena in Brazil on Oct. 12.
The Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors will play a pair of games in China to round out the league’s international preseason slate — Oct. 15, at MasterCard Center in Beijing and Oct. 18, at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai.
TNT and ESPN will each televise two games during October. TNT begins its NBA coverage on Thursday, Oct. 17, when LeBron James and the two-time defending champion Miami Heat visits Deron Williams and the new-look Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center at 8 p.m. ET. The network will also feature a contest between the defending Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs and the Rockets on Thursday Oct. 24, at 8 p.m. ET from AT&T Center.
ESPN will televise a doubleheader on Wednesday, Oct. 23, beginning with the Boston Celtics and new head coach Brad Stevens hosting the Nets at 7 p.m. ET at TD Garden. The nightcap will feature the Bulls and Thunder at 9:30 p.m. ET from INTRUST Bank Arena in Wichita, Kan. The games will also be available on WatchESPN.
The league’s 68th season begins Tuesday, Oct. 29, as part of Kia NBA Tip-Off ’13, with a TNT doubleheader, marking the 18th straight season the network has tipped off with two games on opening night. In the first game (8 p.m. ET), the Heat begins its quest for a third straight title hosting a Bulls team that welcomes back 2011 Kia NBA MVP Derrick Rose, who missed the entire 2012-13 season recovering from a knee injury. Before the game, TNT will televise the championship ring ceremony. The second game is an all-Los Angeles affair, with the Doc Rivers-led Clippers taking on the Lakers at STAPLES Center (10:30 p.m. ET). Ã‚Â Read more