Minnesota Timberwolves win first exhibition game in Turkey
In the first game of the newly implemented NBA Europe Live tour, the MInnesota Timberwolves defeated Istanbul club Efes Pilsen 84-81 Saturday. The tour, which is a good idea from the marketing side of things in the NBA's attempt to globalize the sport's popularity, should help increase awareness of the league in countries that wouldn't have typically tuned in to the sport. The Star Tribune reported that the team also took part in some community service involvement on the trip. They helped dedicate a new basketball court and community center at a local school and distributed 1,00 hearing aids to needy children. It certainly must have been a thrill for the children to meet these giants of athletes, which is nice.
In other attempts to familiarize the world with the league, besides having drafted Chinese mega star Yao Ming, the NBA has also started a foundation, Basketball without Borders, which is meant to influence positive social change around the globe and features dozens of current and former NBA players and team personnel as camp coaches. More on the foundation can be read at the NBA website.