As was expected, the Detroit Pistons will be hosting the New York Knicks on January 17th, but it will not be at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Instead, the Pistons will face off against the Knicks across the Atlantic, making this the 3rd season in a row the NBA has held a game in London.
There were several places rumored to be the “secret” location, but with the NBA schedule release happening in the midst of the London hosted Summer Olympics, there was little doubt as to where the game would end up being held.
The news of the game abroad, which will be aired on NBA-TV, has been especially well received by one Piston in particular. Jonas Jerebko is Sweden’s only national playing in the NBA, and London is within reasonable traveling distance.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Jerebko said on Thursday. “I will have a lot of family, people from Sweden there, so it’s going to be a fun experience playing in London.”
This might even give the Pistons the feeling of having the home crowd support befitting the “host” in this contest. It may be much needed, considering the preseason buzz surrounding the up-and-coming Knicks, who will be led by perennial MVP candidate, Carmelo Anthony, and Amar’e Stoudemire. Anthony has had a fantastic off-season and is hoping to translate that into wins this season, and Stoudemire is primed to reestablish himself as a major threat on the floor.
On paper, the Pistons look as though they would match-up well against the Knicks, but they lost all three meetings in the 2011-2012 season. Detroit will have an opportunity to break their losing streak to the Knicks prior to the game in London. They are scheduled to visit Madison Square Garden on November 25th, and while the London game is nearly two months later, it should still give Detroit fans an idea of what to expect when their team represents them on British soil.
Playing at the O2 Arena in London will give the Pistons an opportunity to reach a new market and expand the Detroit fan base. The loss of revenue due to the game not being held at the Palace may not be immediately made up by the expansion on foreign soil, but in time it could prove to be a worthy investment, one the organization and fans should be proud to be a part of.
Jeff Everette is a Featured Columnist for RantSports.com, covering the NFL and NBA. Follow Jeff on twitter @jeverettesports, like his page on FaceBook, or add his Google + to your circles for all of his latest articles, thoughts, and rants.