As India witnessed its first-ever NBA game at NSCI Dome in Mumbai on October 4, Vivek Ranadive, Co-owner and Chairman of Sacramento Kings addressed a pre-match press conference in which he acknowledged his roots and said that he is a true Mumbaikar. Ranadive, who is the former co-owner and vice-chairman at another NBA team, Golden State Warriors, remembered the time when he first left India to go to the US and said that he only had 50 dollars. Ranadive founded TIBCO – a real-time computing company – and Teknekron Software Systems and currently co-owns the NBA team Sacramento Kings who played against Indiana Pacers in the first-ever NBA match in India.
Vivek Ranadive was born in Juhu back in October 1957. The young Mumbaikar was one of the first few Indians to study at MIT and Harvard. In the pre-match press conference, Ranadive spoke about the growth and expansion of basketball in India and also hinted at launching a 'monster' basketball league in India. He also spoke about the time he left for the US and said that, "When I left Mumbai, I had only 50 dollars in my pocket." The 61-year-old had earlier said that it is a dream come true for him to bring NBA back to his hometown. "Well, it was beyond my wildest dreams. I'm a Mumbaikar, this is the land of my forefathers, this is the town where I was raised. And I left this country and showed up in America with literally 50 dollars in my pocket. To be able to, actually bringing the NBA team that I bought is… I'm speechless. It's beyond my wildest dreams," said Ranadive in an interview with NBA India earlier.
The first NBA game in India was played between Sacramento Kings and Indiana Pacers on October 4 at the NSCI Dome in Mumbai. Indiana Pacers beat Sacramento Kings to claim victory with the scoreline of 132-131 in overtime. The event was graced by several celebrities like Sonam Kapoor, Malaika Arora, and John Abraham. India's richest man, Mukesh Ambani was also present along with her wife Neetu Ambani. Former Boston Celtics player and NBA legend Larry Bird was also seen courtside at the game between Pacers and Kings.