As its reach grows, NBA wants to continue working with other sports leagues
NBA athletes, usually at the receiving end of praises from millions of people, are no exceptions to being fans and having fans.
There are opportunities for NBA players get to interact with other sporting icons outside of basketball, especially when the league travels to different countries for its regular season games or other events.
When the NBA visited London, stars from the Premier League like Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Alvaro Morata, and Hector Bellerin got to mingle with their basketball counterparts.
And who could forget when the constellation of Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, and James Harden paid their respects to boxing icon Manny Pacquiao in 2011.
NBA Asia Managing Director Scott Levy said this interaction not only allows the sporting icons to interact with each other, it also enhances the influence of all those involved in the process.
“These moments are special for crossover fans from one sport to another,” said Levy during his media roundtable discussion Wednesday at the NBA Office in Bonifacio Global City. “This is really driven by our players’ personal interests or the other players’ interests in basketball.”
Levy shared anecdote about how Arsenal and French legend Thierry Henry got nervous around Hall of Famer Allen Iverson more than a decade ago.
Henry, who was even included in NBA 2K17 as a playable character, was tapped as one of the commentators for the NBA’s French broadcaster and that was when he got to interact with Iverson, the 2001 NBA MVP.
“Thierry Henry was nervous interviewing Allen Iverson and that formed a relationship between the two,” said Levy. “Thierry Henry is one of the greatest athletes in the world so any time there’s an athlete who’s a fan of the NBA we will look to engage with them.”
“We want to work with other sports leagues and we’re also fans of them, our players are fans and sometimes they get an opportunity to visit Camp Nou in Barcelona.”
“Our players are active in social media and they’re personally interested in fashion, music, and gaming,” said Levy. “They have relationships with Jay-Z and with Usher and with every other top performer and other athletes are interested because they’re fans.”
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