What’s been rumored for years is now a reality.
The team will play a pair of exhibition games in international cities to kick off its 2013 preseason schedule.
OKC will open its preseason in Istanbul, Turkey against Fenerbahce Ulker on Saturday, Oct. 5. It will be the league’s first preseason game of the 2013 schedule. The Thunder will then travel to Manchester, England to take on the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday, Oct. 8.
There have been rumblings for the past four seasons of the Thunder traveling overseas to compete in the league’s annual tour of international cities. A popular belief was that the Thunder would be headed for China, where Kevin Durant has journeyed and been well-received multiple times as part of Nike tours. But a trip to Turkey and England offers a few different opportunity.
Turkey, of course, is where Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant helped the U.S. men win gold in the the 2010 FIBA World Championship. Durant used that stage to only build on his reputation as a budding superstar, winning Most Valuable Player honors after a tournament filled with record breaking scoring performances.
Manchester, meanwhile, is just three hours north of where Westbrook and Durant helped the U.S. win gold in last summer’s Olympics in London.
Above all, it’s a win for Oklahoma City, as the Thunder continues to put the city on an international radar like nothing before. Kind of cool, wouldn’t you say?