Western Conference stars Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Chris Paul, Allen Iverson and Tim Duncan will all make two trips to the Ford Center this season, but Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki will make only one.
Dates aren't firmed up for the 2008-09 NBA schedule, but it's already known how many times each team will visit a city based on a five-year rotation system, according to Matt Winick, NBA vice president of operations, who has drawn up NBA schedules for 23 years. This season the Mavericks and Sacramento Kings are the only two Western Conference teams that will make only one trip to Oklahoma City. In contrast, Oklahoma City will play only one road game at the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers. Dates haven't been determined. The full schedule is expected to be out in the next few weeks. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was one of only two owners who voted against the NBA team's relocation from Seattle to Oklahoma City. But don't concoct any conspiracy theories. Team schedules are determined years in advance. The 2008-09 NBA schedule probably will be released within the next two weeks, but it's already known which 41 home games will be played in the Ford Center. Teams play everyone in their division four times — two home and two road. Of the remaining 10 conference opponents, a team plays six teams four times — two home and two road. A team plays the remaining four conference opponents only three times. For Oklahoma City, those four teams this season are the Mavericks, Kings, Lakers and Rockets. Western Conference teams play two games each against the 15 Eastern Conference teams — one home and one road.