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.