London Prepares for (bad) NBA
On Thursday, London will host it’s 9th ever NBA game as the New York Knicks face the Washington Wizards. Ugh!!! Congrats to London for getting an NBA game. But apologies on behalf of Knicks fans and all US citizens that the game you get involves the teams with the third-worst and sixth-worst records.
It feels like this always happens. Lots of hype and excitement around American sports heading overseas, only for the teams to be terrible. Sending the Knicks over for the third time since 2011, is the equivalent of sending, I don’t know, a team like the Jacksonville Jaguars six times or something. Oh wait…that’s true too.
Let’s take a look at the history of each of America’s four major sports and their history playing games in London
NBA in London
The NBA London Game 2019 will be the ninth regular-season NBA game in London. And as noted above, it will be the third time the Knicks have traveled across the Atlantic.
There’s been a few pre-season games played in London, dating back to 1993 but the first regular season game took place in 2011 between the Raptors and Nets. The Knicks first appeared in 2013, beating the Pistons, and again in 2015, losing to the Bucks. The first five London games featured either the Knicks or Nets, before 2016 when the Magic played the Raptors.
The Wizards are making their first appearance.
NFL in London
NFL played their first London game in 2007, Giants vs Dolphins. Since than, Jaguars have played the most games (6) and Dolphins and Raiders have both played (4). Poor Brits….imagine YAY FOOTBALL, ugh Jaguars.
From 2007-2012, 1 game a year in London. It increased to 2 in 2013, 3 in 2014-2015 and 4 games in 2016-2018. It’s expected to be 4 games again in 2019.
Shockingly, the Patriots have the best record in London, at 3-0. Four teams are 2-0 (Giants, 49ers, Saints, Vikings). Six teams are 1-0 and ten teams are 0-1. The Bucs are the only team to play multiple games and never win (0-2). In 2016, the Bengals and the Redskins tied.
NHL in London
In September 2007, the first regular season games were played, featuring the Ducks and the Kings. The Ducks brought the Stanley Cup they won the prior season with them overseas.
Other than that, the only London NHL games have been exhibition/pre-season. 1938, the Red Wings and Canadians became the first. London was one stop in a 10 city, 23 game European tour between the Rangers and Bruins in 1959. Blackhawks and Canadians played at Wembley Arena in 1992. And the Rangers kicked off their last Stanley Cup winning season, by playing the Maple Leafs in a pre-season game in 1993.
MLB in London
MLB will cross overseas in the summer of 2019, with a series between the Yankees and Red Sox this June It will be the first time MLB teams have played in Europe.