Chicago Bulls are at present l...
Chicago Bulls the greatest mis...
Chicago Bulls wound through on...
Clippers 104, Bulls 97...
Bulls-Clippers, Box...
MVP? It's debatable between Ko...
Presented By: 2010-01-20...
ROSTER REPORT 2010-01-20...
NOTES, QUOTES 2010-01-20...
Bulls-Clippers Preview 2010-01...
Luol Deng insurance doubt for ...
Web viewing of NBA games may s...
Luol Deng may miss Euro qualif...
Bulls waive JamesOn Curry...
Bulls re-sign Luol Deng...
September 2017
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
 
 
Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Windows Live
News » DENG HELPS LONDON TAKE A GIANT LEAP TOWARDS THAT HOOP DREAM


DENG HELPS LONDON TAKE A GIANT LEAP TOWARDS THAT HOOP DREAM


DENG HELPS LONDON TAKE A GIANT LEAP TOWARDS THAT HOOP DREAM Bulls' BRITISH STAR IS BACKING BID TO STAGE REGULAR-SEASON NBA GAMES IN CAPITAL AFTER SELL-OUT CLASH AT THE O2.

THE appeal of Luol Deng as the Chicago Bulls took on the Utah Jazz at the 02 Arena last night gave a hint of what to expect from him at the 2012 Olympics and may have nudged the appearance of regular-season NBA Basketball games in London a step nearer.

Deng and the NBA were on show in front of a full-house of 18,689 and the Bulls superstar and Great Britain player delivered as joint top scorer with 18 points as Chicago won a competitive match-up 102-101, with James Johnson's game-winning shot dropping in as the final buzzer went. A regular-season game or games in London, following in the footsteps of gridiron's NFL, now in its third season of League games at Wembley, would add that competitive ?edge' and can only help create wider interest in the game ahead of the London Olympics.

Deng, still feeling his way back into NBA action following a stress fracture in his right leg, played for just under 25 minutes but that was enough to lead the scoring with team-mate Johnson and Utah's Paul Millsap.

The Bulls decided he'd done enough with the new NBA season ahead but he was still the star of the show and the crowd lapped it up.

The 6ft 9ins 24-year-old forward, on a ?40million six-year contract in Chicago, was left in no doubt of the expectation in the GB ranks with the games still three years away.

Deng, who was brought up in Brixton, said: "It was unbelievable, looking in the stands and seeing so many people who helped me play Basketball and for them to see me in a Bulls jersey.

"It's hard not to start thinking about 2012. As a Basketball player there is so much I want to accomplish before the Olympics but it does cross your mind and I definitely can't wait."

It was the third year running the NBA had staged a pre-season game at the O2 and the hunger for more is very much there. Deng also ensured this game was as much about promoting Team GB's Olympic campaign as it was about selling his No9 NBA jersey.

Prior to tip-off, NBA commissioner David Stern added his support to GB's bid to land a wild card for next year's World Championships, another crucial stepping stone as the squad bid to compete at the highest level of Basketball.

"The run-up to 2012 is very exciting for the growth of Basketball in Great Britain," Stern said. "Team GB qualified for the EuroBasket and we hope that, in its wisdom, the world governing body, FIBA, sees fit to give it a wild card."

FIBA are due to announce in December which nations have been given wild cards for next year's championships, which will be played in Turkey.

Stern also underlined his commitment to bringing an NBA regular-season game to London in the build-up to the Games to further boost the sport's profile and hinted that it may become a reality as early as 2010.

"We're running out of runway a little bit but we still hope to do it," Stern said.

Asked specifically if 2010 was a possibility, he added: "Impossible is nothing. Who knows? We have not set the schedule yet for 2010 but we'll see. I hope it is going to be either 2010 or 2011."

After the reception he received from the home crowd, Deng would love to return.

"It's unbelievable to see," he said. "I left for the States when I was 14 but when I was here growing up I don't think an NBA game would have sold out but now you see so many jerseys in the stands.

"Basketball has just grown so much with a lot of people talking about it and kids paying attention to it. You never really thought that NBA games could happen here. It's really amazing."

Local hero: Luol Deng, who was raised in London, nets for the Bulls on his way to scoring 18 points ?I never thought an NBA game here would be a sell-out ? it was just unbelievable looking in the stands '

Luol Deng


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 7, 2009

 

 
Copyright © Bullszone.com, Inc. All rights reserved 2018.