The NBL has secured a “massive coup” with NBA icon Scottie Pippen to head to Australia to attend games courtside.
Pippen’s trip to Australia will be the first of his life and he will be on hand as an official ambassador for the NBL’s season tip-off.
He will join former Chicago Bulls teammate and Australian basketball legend Luc Longley for the season-opener between Melbourne United and the South East Melbourne Phoenix at John Cain Arena on September 28.
”I’m delighted to announce I’m going to be heading Down Under for the first time, to help launch the NBL season,” Pippen said in an NBL statement on Tuesday.
“I’ve heard a lot about basketball in Australia and the NBL, and I’ve always wanted to come out and see it for myself.
“Now, I finally have the chance and I can’t wait.
“I’m told this season in the NBL will be the biggest yet and to the players: I can’t wait to see what you guys have got.”
Pippen was voted as one of the NBA’s greatest 75 players last year after his six titles, seven All-Star appearances, eight All-Defensive first team nods as well as two Olympic gold medals with the US team. He was Michael Jordan‘s teammate for all six of Jordan’s NBA titles with the Bulls.
”This is a massive coup for the NBL to have someone of Scottie Pippen’s standing and prominence in the world of basketball, come out and represent our League and brand,” NBL CEO Dave Stevenson said in the statement.
“From our initial discussions with Scottie, there was genuine interest in coming to Australia and most significantly, he was fully aware, and had great knowledge of the NBL.
“Through his lasting relationship with Luc Longley, Scottie has always harboured an ambition to come out to Australia to see the NBL and his many fans, and we are delighted to be able to help make that a reality this season.
“Scottie is, without doubt, one of the biggest names in basketball and his accolades and achievements are simply unbelievable.”