The NRI Business man and Massachusetts pass out; Vivek Ranavide is making his promise real by bringing in his NBA team ‘Sacramento Kings’ to India.
It was announced by the NBA last year on December 20th 2018 that the Kings and Pacers would play two of their games in Mumbai in October 2019.
Mumbai hosting games was something that the NBA commissioner Adam Silver promised Ranadive back in 2014 when he has took helm of the kings. The duo even visited to India soon after Silver became commissioner.
“[Adam Silver] and I spoke about it all the time, and it took a lot of planning, a lot of effort,” Ranadive told NBC Sports California in an interview before the Kings and the Warriors tipped off Saturday night at Golden 1 Center. “The NBA has had a presence in India and in Bombay. We opened an Academy in Delhi. So, the NBA has come through on every promise it has made, and there’s a lot of work that went into it.”
Ranadive is thinking big picture with the games in India, and he hopes the impact is vast.
“This is my vision of NBA 3.0, where basketball really becomes the premier sport of the 21st century,” Ranadive said. “And capturing the hearts and minds of a billion Indians is key to that.”
If you’re wondering how the Pacers were picked as the opponent for the two games, it’s a simple answer, and something that has been in the works since Ranadive became Kings Owner in 2013.
“When I came into the league,” Ranadive said. “The owner of the Pacers, Herb Simon, who’s a huge fan of India, he came to me and said, ‘I know you’re gonna go to India one day, so you have to promise me you’ll take me with you.’ “
While Mumbai was picked for the two games, Ranadive said Delhi, the capital of India, was looked at a possible venue, and other cities will be discussed in the future.
“We’d consider any place where we can put on a good show,” Ranadive said.
Ranadive hopes the young Kings players find the trip “enriching and highly educational,” and said there will be some sightseeing on the trip.
“A trip to India wouldn’t be complete with a trip to the Taj,” Ranadive said.
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