The New York Knicks and Washington Wizards will meet in London at the O2 Arena on January 17th 2019, as was officially announced on Wednesday by NBA UK.
Tickets are not yet on sale for the European showpiece, but fans can already register there interest here. The announcement was leaked on the NBA London site prior to the official accounts breaking the news, as was spotted by Luke Hatfield in the tweet below.
Last season’s matchup between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers drew huge interest from all over Europe. The sellout event was perfectly timed. It came as the great rivalry was reigniting between the two franchises, just as their two young teams cruised into the playoffs, and managed to bring stars Kyrie Irving, Joel Embiid, Jayson Tatum and Ben Simmons to this side of the Atlantic before Embiid and Irving suffered injuries in the second half of the campaign.
The Wizards and Knicks are in different situations. Washington’s duo of John Wall and Bradley Beal are great to watch, but the Knicks are still rebuilding their roster and are expected to still be without Kristaps Porzingis, who injured his anterior cruciate ligament last season. The Wizards could yet make dramatic moves this offseason too, of course.
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) June 20, 2018
European fans could reasonably have expected the NBA to ramp it up further this year, and some will surely be a little underwhelmed by the this matchup. The NBA are in a difficult position, though, with so many superstars playing in the Western Conference, and the futures of Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James and Paul George still up in the air.
It would take a severe rejig of schedule to get a West team to London, so seeing Stephen Curry or Kevin Durant at the O2 might be a while off yet. Assuming it had to be a pair of teams from the East, this is still a decent option with the Sixers and Celtics likely ruled out after their involvement in 2018.
This is great news for anyone this side of the ocean interested in the NBA. One of the best backcourts in the league is – probably – coming to London, and who knows what else might have changed on the Wizards and Knicks rosters. Maybe they’ll both be playoff teams by January!