Great Britain and LA Lakers star Luol Deng is excited for the NBA’s annual showcase at London’s O2 Arena next Thursday.
Deng, who grew up in London, is well known for his work pushing basketball in the UK. Deng, who runs a summer camp in London, as well as named a Top 50 prospects in the U.K, represented GB at the 2012 Olympics and has spoken out publically several times expressing his frustrations at the lack of funding provided.
Speaking ahead of next week’s game Deng seemed upbeat regarding the NBA’s intentions in the UK, ”I’m always excited when it [NBA Global Games London] happens – there’s always hope that the UK will start taking basketball more seriously.”
Deng has also had the opportunity to experience the Global Games in the UK himself. ”I had the chance to play [in London] when we played the Utah Jazz when I was with the Chicago Bulls and because I’m from London I really enjoyed it. All my teammates enjoyed the city, loved the fans and the game. When you’re from the US, going to the UK is an easy transition – it’s culturally very similar, especially the language and everything.”
In the past Deng has supported the concept of a European Division of the NBA, citing travel logistics as a reason London could not have its own franchise without other European franchises. Read more about Luol’s opinion about the UK having its own NBA franchise in our exclusive sit down with him here >
The Denver Nuggets host the Indiana Pacers at The O2 in London on Jan. 12 as part of NBA Global Games London 2017. The game is live on BT Sport or via NBA LEAGUE PASS (www.nba.tv).
Images courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images.