Ahead of the big pre-season NBA game between Sacramento Kings and Indiana Pacers in Mumbai on October 5, Vivek Ranadivé, Co-owner and Chairman of the Sacramento Kings in the press conference prior to the match said that he is looking forward to the expansion of NBA in India. He explained that he spoke to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the growth and expansion of arenas in India. He also stated that India has already embraced basketball and in the coming years it will be right amongst the top sports in the country.
When asked about the future of NBA in India, Ranadivé said, "I expect that there will be arenas across the country where we can play these NBA games. I've spoken to the Prime Minister about arenas and the importance of arenas and smart cities, cities of the future and I know that he is committed to that." "The game will be adapted faster than it was in other parts of the world," he added.
Mumbai-born Ranadivé praised the game of basketball and said, "The country has already embraced basketball. Basketball is a spectacle. It's a vibe. It is a celebration of life and athletes. Its a game that can be played inside, outside, in cities, in villages, by boys, girls, by one person, few people, rich or poor, it does not matter." He also added that he is hopeful of launching a huge basketball league in India. "In the next 10 years, the game might never surpass cricket, but it'll be right up there. Hopefully, we can launch a monster madness league in India," Ranadivé said.
The Indiana Pacers vs Sacramento Kings game is bound to be a milestone event in the history of Indian basketball. Sacramento Kings will be brimming with confidence due to the influx of young talent into their squad. 20-year old Marvin Bagley III will be eager to prove his worth in tonight's match at the NSCI Dome in Mumbai. Meanwhile, Indiana Pacers' Myles Turner is the reigning blocks leader in the NBA. He will be key tonight if the Pacers' want to win this weekend.