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Breakers NBA Blockbuster Against KD, Irving Unlikely

A potential NBLxNBA blockbuster between the New Zealand Breakers and Brooklyn Nets is now unlikely due to the COVID-19 pandemic says Breakers Owner and CEO Matt Walsh.

According to a Stuff report, the paperwork had been signed between the two clubs which could have seen the likes of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving battle Corey Webster and the Breakers.

It would have been New Zealand’s third straight NBLxNBA trip, having previously faced the Phoenix Suns, Memphis Grizzlies and Oklahoma City Thunder.

There is a Kiwi connection in Brooklyn, with Nets GM Sean Marks being the first New Zealand born player to play in the NBA. Walsh hopes the battle between the two teams can be revisited at a later date.

“It’s unfortunate,” Walsh told Stuff.

“That would have been very exciting for us. With Sean there it had been great working with them. We were going to make a whole trip of it, spend about a week there and train.

“There is a chance the NBA season is postponed just a little bit, it still lines up and we can still do a pre-season tour, but we think it’s unlikely with travel the way it is and without a vaccine.

“But we’ll work with them next year. Getting a chance to play against Durant and Irving would been a dream for us. It could have been KD’s first game [for the Nets] which would have been pretty cool. But hopefully next year we’ll play them.”

The pandemic has caused basketball leagues across the globe to get creative and adjust their thinking, which led Walsh explaining how he would be open to the idea of helping attract an NBA team to New Zealand.

“This (COVID-19) gives you the opportunity to throw out crazy ideas,” Walsh said.

“It’s unlikely from an East Coast team just because of the travel, but I saw [Golden State Warriors coach] Steve Kerr tweet this week that the States needs a Jacinda [Ardern].

“Maybe we can set up something for him, have his team out here, he could have dinner with Jacinda…we’re exploring everything.

“We saw Team USA come to Australia last year to play the Boomers. At some point an NBA team is going to come on a pre-season tour to Australia and New Zealand.

“We’re going to continue to throw ideas out there and work with our contacts in the NBA. But it’s going to happen at some stage.”

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