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Four NBA teams to play in Europe in 2006


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NEW YORK, Dec 13 ? (AFP) ? The National Basketball Association is planning a European grand tour in 2006.


The Los Angeles Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs will conduct camps and compete against top European clubs in seven cities in five countries in 2006 the NBA and Euroleague Basketball announced Tuesday.


The initiative, called NBA Europe Live presented by EA Sports, will entail the Sixers holding camp in Barcelona and playing an exhibition against Winterthur FC Barcelona, while the Suns will train in Treviso, Italy, and play Virtus Lottomatica Roma in Rome.


Suns coach Mike D'Antoni, the 2004-05 NBA Coach of the Year, was a former star player and coach in Italy and holds Italian citizenship.


"For me personally, you can imagine how excited I am,'' he said. "I think it will be great for our players, and it will be a nice bonding and cultural experience.''


The Sixers and Suns also will participate in a tournament in Cologne, Germany, with the 2005-06 Euroleague champion and runner-up.


The Spurs, whose team features French star Tony Parker, will train in Lyon and play a game against the French team Adecco ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne, then travel to Paris for a contest against two-time Euroleague champion Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv.


The Clippers will hold camp in Moscow and play games against CSKA Moscow and Unics Kazan.


"I think this is a great opportunity for the fans in Russia to see an NBA team and how the American game is played,'' said Clippers forward Yaroslav Korolev, a Russian who played for CSKA Moscow during the 2004-05 season.


"I am very excited because I get to play at home and show my teammates a place that most of them have never been to.''

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Pop really wanted to goto Moscow, but they said we need to goto France to further strengthen our ties in Paris.


Really what Pop wanted to do was go back to Soviety spy boot camp so he can start doing more of his undercover Soviet work that he did way back when.


We will get the greatest crowds and reception of any of the 4 teams. Phoenix will probably be second due to D'Antoni being somewhat of a legend in Italy.


We will probably be in Argentina for camp in a few years and bottom line Pop is happy, he has been wanting to have camp in Europe for a few years now, although I dont think he really wanted Paris due to the big time ties and scouts we already have in the area.

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