Harris Talks Down Travel for NBA London Adventure

Tobias Harris

One subject that often draws in mixed reaction between players and fans alike regarding NBA London is the journey NBA stars have to make for the fixture. However, Orlando Magic forward, Tobias Harris has talked down the length of the Florida franchise’s journey ahead of the game – instead claiming that the event could do some of the team a favour following a busy schedule so far.

“For us, we don’t want to buy into all of (the excuses of travel). We’re going to play a game. And I think it’s a great experience for everybody, so we’ve got to take it in and enjoy it.

“I think it could be helpful in terms of building more chemistry. I think the rest is good for us, but at the same time our sleep will be a key factor”. Harris claimed.

“But it can be looked at both ways – if we come back and drop a couple of games, some will say, ‘Ahhh, the trip messed us up.’ But if we win a couple of games after, they’ll say, ‘The trip was great for the chemistry’. But as a team we’ve got to enjoy it, which we will because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime trip.’’

After a intense couple of months, Orlando and Toronto both get lengthy breaks to make up for the long-haul flight to London – and this could actually help players like Elfrid Payton recover from injury.

Scott Skiles has even gone as far to claim that Payton should be healthy for the Magic’s London game, although he’s still not committing to playing the second year guard just yet.

“We’re hoping that he can play in London,’’ Skiles stated over the weekend. “We feel good about that, but we’ll see.’’

The NBA London Rhythm…

Scott Skiles on NBA London

NBA Sale

Even with the opportunity to show their ability in London – Skiles is still wary of the effect such a break could have on the team’s rhythm.

“I’m a little bit concerned about the players settling into the rhythm of a season and then all of a sudden there’s an all-star break with one game. That’s, in effect, what it is.

“Then, we come home and go right back out on the road. It’s there and it’s a really good team that we’re going to play. Hopefully we can enjoy some of the trip as well and try to win a game”.

It seems that NBA London is quickly becoming more than just a lengthy road trip for teams now, and one which brings up plenty of questions regarding the possibility of a British franchise in the future…

Tobias Harris and the Orlando Magic host the Toronto Raptors at The O2 in London on Jan. 14 as part of NBA Global Games London 2016. The game is live on BT Sport 1 and BT Sport Showcase or via NBA LEAGUE PASS (www.nba.tv).

Luke Hatfield is the creator and editor of BouncyOrangeBall, with an extensive knowledge of the NBA and basketball in general.

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