Sixers to Host Melbourne United in Preseason

Keith Pompey reported this earlier today and the Sixers confirmed it tonight. They’ll host NBL champion Melbourne United to (presumably) kick off the 2018-2019 preseason.

Melbourne comes to Philly on September 28th as part of a league-wide initiative to bring five NBL squads to the U.S. this fall. They’ll play seven games against NBA teams over the course of a week.

From the press release, Brett Brown:

My history in Australia and my history especially with Australian basketball has helped shape my current status as an NBA head coach. The basketball scene is extremely well-organized, extremely well-coached, and the growth of the game is not to be disputed. The wonderful Australian culture only adds to the rise of the game. Australia has been good to me and I am thrilled to be able to give back in some small way.”

Ben Simmons’ father, David, played in the NBL for Melbourne, where he won a league title in 1993 alongside then-assistant coach Brown. The elder Simmons also played for the Newcastle Falcons, Sydney Kings, and Canberra Cannons.

More from the release:

Five NBL teams, including the Adelaide 36ers, Melbourne United, New Zealand Breakers, Perth Wildcats and Sydney Kings, will play a total of seven games against NBA teams in the 2018 NBA preseason, including the Denver Nuggets, L.A. Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, Toronto Raptors and Utah Jazz, from Sept. 28-Oct. 5. This marks the most games NBA teams will play against teams from an international league in a single preseason.

The Sixers will travel to China in October for a pair of games against the Mavericks in Shanghai and Shenzhen. I’d assume they’ll come back to the States and play two more before kicking off the regular season.

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