Bucks-Hawks to play preseason games in Abu Dhabi

The NBA will be further expanding their international game next fall.

The Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks will play two preseason games in Abu Dhabi in October, the NBA’s first games in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and on the Arabian Gulf. The contests will take place on Oct. 6 and Oct. 8 at Etihad Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.

Per a report by ESPN and the Associated Press, these are the third and fourth international preseason games known to be on next season’s schedule.

“The Golden State Warriors and Washington Wizards are heading to Saitama, Japan, for games on Sept. 30 and Oct. 2. Those will be the first games for the NBA outside of North America since Jan. 24, 2020, when Milwaukee and Charlotte met in Paris for a regular-season game about six weeks before the pandemic started,” the report said. “The last time the NBA traveled overseas for preseason contests was October 2019, when Sacramento and Indiana played twice in Mumbai, Houston and Toronto played twice in Saitama and the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets played a pair of games in China.”

The exhibitions between the Bucks and Hawks are being billed as the NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2022 and are part of a multiyear partnership between the NBA and Abu Dhabi’s department of culture and tourism. According to the report by ESPN and the Associated Press, the partnership includes the launching of the first Junior NBA Abu Dhabi League earlier this year.

It also includes “a variety of interactive fan events featuring appearances by current and former NBA players, a series of NBA FIT clinics promoting health and wellness plus an NBA 2K League exhibition event at Middle East Film & Comic Con.”


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