SAN ANTONIO—As part of the NBA’s global games initiative, the Bulls will play a 2013-14 preseason game in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the league announced Tuesday.
The game will take place Oct. 12 at HSBC Arena and the team will face the Washington Wizards, featuring center Nene, a native of Brazil.
“The league, I think does a great job with that stuff. I think it’ll be a great experience for our players,” Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said before Tuesday’s practice at the AT&T Center. “The trips that I’ve been on, particularly when you go early in the season like that, it’s good for your team building and bonding, and stuff like that, so we’re looking forward to it.”
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All-Star Luol Deng, who played a game in his adopted hometown in London to kick off the 2009-10 season, told CSNChicago.com, “I’m excited for the fans in Brazil. I’m excited for the game, the expansion of the game. We were in London, now Brazil. It’s good for the organization. The Bulls have so many fans outside of Chicago globally and it’s really good that the NBA and the Bulls are doing such a great job of just reaching out to all these fans around the world.”
Fellow All-Star Joakim Noah, who grew up in Paris before moving to New York City, was more effusive in his excitement about the announcement.
“Yeah! Hell yeah! That’s what I’m talking about. Great news. I’m very hyped to go to Rio,” he told CSNChicago.com. “Never been to Rio, but I’m very excited about it.”