What is the record between Spanish and NBA teams?
The game against Real Madrid and the Dallas Mavericks will be the latest game in a long line of past encounters.
Real Madrid take on the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday October 9 at 2:45 p.m. ET / 11:45 a.m. PT as the NBA returns to Spain.
The reigning European champions, Real Madrid, are set to welcome home their prodigal son, Luka Doncic, just in the blue of the Mavericks. The tie between the two sides has never happened before, but it is certainly not the first time that an NBA side has taken on a Spanish outfit.
This will be the 24th time that a North American side will face a European club, and only three Spanish teams managed to win: Real Madrid, Unicaja and Barcelona.
Barcelona 104-99 Philadelphia 76ers
Ivanovic’s Barcelona, on October 5 2006, made history as they beat the Philadelphia 76ers, becoming the second European team to beat an NBA side after Maccabi Tel Aviv, who have done it a record four times. The American team were coached by Maurice Cheeks, a legend of the sport, and he had huge names such as Allen Iverson, Chris Webber, Kyle Korver and a young André Iguodola in the squad.
The franchise had finished 7th in the table the previous year, losing in the first round against the Detriot Pistons, who ended up winning the conference title and stopping the back-to-back from the San Antonio Spurs.
In the Barça side, a fantastic Juan Carlos Navarro commanded his side to victory with 18 points. Lakovic, Efrén Vázquez and Kakiouzis were key to the win. The current coach of the side, Roger Grimau, also played in that game and got a point.
Unicaja 102-99 Memphis Grizzlies
The Carpena Arena experienced a historic night on October 9 2007, which was the first time the side from southern Spain faced an NBA outfit: the Memphis Grizzlies with Pau Gasol and Juan Carlos Navarro. The Málaga side, then coached by the current Spain National team manager, Sergio Scariolo, started with Cabezas, Alfonso Sánchez, Berni, Haislip and Ndong. Juan Carlos Navarro (21 points) and the UNicaja players Davor Kus (20) and Marcus Haislip (18) were the top scorers. The Memphis side also had historic NBA players as well as the Spaniards such as Rudy Gay, Kyle Lowry and Mike Conley.
The NBA team had their last season with Gasol in the side, ahead of his move to the Lakers and the beginning of the reconstruction with Marc Gasol as the star of the side.
Real Madrid 104-103 Toronto Raptors
On October 11 2007, Real Madrid finally achieved their first win against an NBA side after two losses against the Celtics and the Suns. The Toronto Raptors came into the game with a squad full of Spanish talent as Jorge Garbajosa, José Manuel Calderón and Carlos Delfino led the side. The top scorer in the team was the Italian Andrea Bargnani.
As for Los Blancos, the mythical American, Louis Bullock would drive his side to a win with 27 points. The side had Raúl López, Alex Mumbrú and Sergio Llull. The Canadians would manage to fight for the playoffs as they finished 6th, although they would be stopped in the first round by Orlando Magic.
Barcelona 92-88 Lakers
The night of October 7 2010 went down in the history books for many basketball fans across the world. Barça, winner of the Euro League, beat the NBA champion, the LA Lakers made up of Kobe, Fisher, Artest, Odom and Gasol. The 25 points scored by Navarro, the 26 from Pete Mickael and the fantastic Culé defence was too much for the Californians.
For the fans, the main talking point was the trash-talking from Mickael: “Kobe said to me that this game can take you to the NBA, trying to be a know-it-all. If you really think that, put your money where your mouth is and we’ll play 1vs1, and we’ll see how far you go, I said back. Put $100 million in my account and we will be able to play. We’ll speak later, since you want to be a know-it-all.”
Grimau, the current Barça coach, was also on the court for the game. That Lakers team would finish 1st in the conference, but they would lose out to the Mavericks who won the ring.
Barcelona 99-85 Mavericks
On October 10 2012 Dallas played what was, until now, their only game in Spain, when Barça managed to beat an NBA side for the third time in their history. The Mavericks lost Dirk Nowitzki late on due to a knee injury and that year they did not make the playoffs, despite the squad having names such as Dirk, Carter, Marion and Elton Brand.
Barça arrived with two league defeats, but Mickael and Navarro got 19 points each to get the win. Thanks to this win, Barcelona became the European team with the second-most wins against an NBA franchise.
Real Madrid 142-137 Oklahoma Thunder
October 3 2016 would be the last time an NBA side came to Madrid, and it was the home side who emerged victorious. The Wizink Center that will host Madrid vs Mavs on Tuesday October 9 2023 was the setting for the first post-Durant year of the Oklahoma side, who just about made the playoffs before falling short against Houston Rockets.
Jayce Carrol with 24 and Sergio Llul with 22, as well as a triple to force overtime, was enough for Real Madrid to overturn a points difference of 22. As for the Thunder, Oladipo got 34, while Westbrook, Sabonis and Abrines were some of the players who shone in front of the Spanish fans.
The second victory for Real Madrid against an NBA team gave them a 2-6 record, meaning that the overall score of Spanish teams vs NBA franchises sits at 23 games, 6 Spanish wins and 17 NBA wins. Real Madrid have the chance to equal the Spanish record of wins against an NBA team when they take on Doncic and the Mavs, a game the Slovenian said is “going to be for sure one of the most special games for me, if not the most. I have told Mark Cuban many times and he always told me that this game was going to happen. I’ve thought about this a lot.”