Doncic to be reunited with Real Madrid at the WiZink
The Mavericks will play against the Euroleague champions in October to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the first NBA games to be played in Spain.
Real Madrid have lined up a friendly against Luka Doncic’s Dallas Mavericks at the WiZink Center de Madrid on Tuesday 10 October (20.45 horas). The game will serve to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the first NBA games played on Spanish soil in 1988.
NBA history in Spain
The Boston Celtics were invited guests at the McDonald’s Open in October 1988 - the Cs beat Yugoslavia 113-85 to set up a final meeting with the hosts at the Palacio de los Deportes which ended 96-111 with Larry Bird and Drazen Petrovic ending as the tournament’s top scorers.
They were the first games involving NBA teams to be played in Spain and the Dallas Mavericks will be continuing the tradition with a friendly game as part of their pre-season, against the reigning Euroleague champions. It will be the eighth NBA game to be played in the Spanish capital and the 20th in mainland Spain.
October’s matchup will be particularly poignant for Luka Doncic, the four-time NBA All Star and member of the All-NBA Team, joined Real Madrid as a 13-year-old and went on to become the youngest MVP in Euroleague and Final Four history when he guided Los Blancos to the title in 2018, aged 19 - just before he left for the NBA.
Another big name on the Mavericks roster is eight-time All Star, Kyrie Irving, who was part of the franchise’s title-winning team in 2016. Real Madrid meanwhile count on legendary Spanish guard Sergio Llull, the 34th overall pick in the 2009 Draft as well as a handful of players who have plyed their trade in the best basketball league in the world, such as Rudy Fernández (Portland Trail Blazers, Denver Nuggets), Mario Hezonja (Orlando Magic, New York Knicks, Portland Trail Blazers), Dzanan Musa (Brooklyn Nets) and Sergio Rodríguez (Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers).
Real Madrid, with 36 Liga ACB titles and a record 11 Euroleague titles, will play the first NBA pre-season game to be played in the Spanish capital since 2016, when Doncic and Co. faced the Oklahoma City Thunder.
“Bringing the live NBA experience directly to our passionate international fans is an important part of our year-round efforts to grow basketball and the NBA around the world,” said NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. “We’re excited for the Mavericks to play Real Madrid and look forward to engaging with fans from Spain and across Europe around this historic matchup.”
Before the Real Madrid game at the WiZink Center, the Mavericks will play two preseason games against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday 5 and Saturday 7 October as part of the NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2023.
Tickets for the Madrid-Mavs game went on general sale on Thursday 31 August through Real Madrid’s official website, priced from €60 to €350. The game will be broadcast live in the United States by NBA TV and Bally Sports Southwest.