Players hail Global Games London a success

Danilo Gallinari has hailed Global Games London at the O2 as the turning point of the Denver Nuggets season after their blowout victory against the Indiana Pacers which finished 140-112. Nikola Jokic enjoyed one of his best games of the season and just narrowly missing out on a triple double. He finished with a game high 22 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.

Jokic said after the game: “It was probably one of our best games of the season. We had 140 points, a great defence. We’ve just got to keep on improving and win some more matches.”

Gallinari had a great game with 18 points, shooting 7/11 from the field. It was an impressive team performance against a Pacers side that struggled on offense. Gallinari spoke about a fantastic Nuggets performance, as well as his experience in London as a whole:

“Great atmosphere, great game. It’s been fantastic to be back to this side of the pond to play some basketball. It’s been a great experience for me and for all my teammates who had never been here before. I’m really happy that the NBA selected us to come here to London to play a game”

“I hope there can be another opportunity like this in the near future, maybe in Italy. These are always great experiences, from a personal point of view and for team bonding as well. I truly hope this can happen again soon.”

“London is a great city, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and in the world, so these past three/four days have been great for each one of us. Unfortunately, we haven’t had the chance to actually live the city, we’ve seen around a bit, but we knew this was going to be all about the game against the Pacers, which we won, so we’re proud that we can actually go back to Denver with a victory and with some beautiful memories. Hopefully this trip and this victory might be a turning point for us now that we’re approaching the second half of the season.”

“The atmosphere was fantastic, certainly comparable to what you would experience if you’re watching a game in any NBA arena in the States. We were all really happy to see a packed crowd, and it was great to see fans were supporting us, I’m glad they had fun.”

Despite a loss for his Indiana Pacers against the Denver Nuggets, Pacers President Larry Bird still found the Global Games in London to be “heaven”. Larry Legend watched on from the stands at the O2 as his side were beaten 140-112 by the Denver Nuggets. The sell-out crowd at the O2 witnessed Nikola Jokic set the game high with 22 points, whilst the nearest Pacer player was C.J. Miles on 20. Pacers teammates Myles Turner and Kevin Seraphin also spoke after the game, whilst both were disappointed at the result, they both agreed that the Global Games had been a success.

Larry Bird said of his experience in London: “It’s been a great time, it’s a great place very impressive. We have had plenty of food as you can probably tell. But what a great experience, this is heaven to me. The architecture, all the things you read about as a kid in the history books, it’s pretty amazing.”

Asked whether the NBA will ever be able to have teams based in Europe, Bird said: “Our league has got a lot of talent in it but I don’t know if we’ve got enough to have more teams but the NBA is doing well, this is a great opportunity for us to come over here and sell the brand and it’s just unfortunate the Pacers didn’t show up tonight. But it’s great, the fans showed up, they seemed like they were into it.”

Bird went on to explain why the Pacers had lost against the Nuggets: “Well we didn’t play well, make any excuse you want but we didn’t show up to play. Denver did a great job of back cutting, setting picks, hitting shots and I thought we did pretty good first quarter. They had a lot of three point shots and we were just down one but after that we fell apart.”

Myles Turner had a tough time out on court, but he enjoyed the atmosphere at the O2: “It was electric. People were cheering for both teams so it was a good atmosphere.”

Kevin Seraphin agreed that the Global Games is a great idea and he would love to see it in his home country: “I would love to have Global Games in France, that will be big time. I hope that it will host because it is one of the countries that play this game. Any game would be good, I wouldn’t mind who it is between. Any game would be cool in France.”

Source: Pitch London
Image: C.Cox