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Kawhi’s Clippers, NBA coming to town

By Don Fennell

Published 12:40 PDT, Tue July 9, 2019

The NBA is returning to Vancouver.

And so perhaps is reigning NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, who after guiding the Toronto Raptors to the NBA championship has signed with the Los Angeles Clippers.

The pro basketball league announced Tuesday the seventh NBA Canada Series, presented by Bell, will feature the Clippers and Dallas Mavericks playing a 2019 pre-season game at Rogers Arena on Thursday, Oct. 17. Fans are encouraged to register at NBA.com/CanadaSeries for exclusive pre-sale tickets.

“Following a historic NBA season in Canada, we’re thrilled to return to Vancouver for the 2019-20 pre-season,” says NBA Canada managing director Dan MacKenzie. “We’re proud to partner with Bell to bring another tremendous match-up to Canadian basketball fans.”

Dallas will feature Toronto-native Dwight Powell in the fifth pre-season game to be played in Vancouver. The game will also mark the second appearance by the Clippers.

At the 2019 NBA Awards, Lou Williams of the Clippers won the Kia NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award for the third time in his career. And the Mavericks’ Luka Doncic was named top rookie after a season that saw him record the third-most triple doubles, eight, by a rookie in NBA history.

Describing Vancouver as a “very special city,” Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle says his team looks forward to playing in front of Vancouver’s “great fans” again.

Bell Canada vice-president, corporate marketing, Loring Phinney says “we couldn’t be more excited to once again join forces with the NBA to kick off the pre-season in Vancouver. As a proud NBA partner, Bell looks forward to bringing Canadian basketball fans another spectacular season in 2019-20.”

The 2018-19 NBA regular season set new records in Canada for broadcast viewership, merchandise sales, national partnerships and activations. The 2019 NBA Finals, which was the Raptors win the first NBA title outside of the U.S., saw 56 per cent of the Canadian population watch at least part of the six-game series.

About 250,000 Canadians have attended 13 games in five cities since NBA Canada Series tipped off in 2012.

Tickets for the Oct. 17 game will go on sale Thursday, July 25.

NBA Canada Series presented by Bell 2019 Video: nba.com/2JnsUIc

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