Dallas Mavericks to play Minnesota Timberwolves at NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2023

Etihad Arena on Yas Island will host two pre-season matches for the second year running

Minnesota Timberwolves' Patrick Beverley, left, drives past Jalen Brunson of the Dallas Mavericks during an NBA game in March 2022. AP The two sides will play each toehr twice in Abu Dhabi in October 2023. AP
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The NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2023 will see Dallas Mavericks take on Minnesota Timberwolves in two matches at the Etihad Arena in October.

Last year marked the inaugural games in the capital that saw Atlanta Hawks win both matches in the pre-season double-header, beating Milwaukee Bucks 123-113 and 118-109.

It was the first time NBA games had been held in the Arabian Gulf and formed part of a long-term agreement signed with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi.

This year, UAE basketball fans will be able to see the Mavericks and the Timberwolves face-off on Yas Island on October 5 and 7 with some NBA superstar names set to be on show.

The Mavericks currently feature four-time NBA All-Star and three-time All-NBA First Team member Luka Doncic as well as 2016 NBA champion and eight-time NBA All-Star Kyrie Irving.

“The Dallas Mavericks certainly recognise the importance of globalising the game of basketball,” said Mavericks chief executive Cynt Marshall. "For many years, we have enjoyed international players and a growing international fan base.

“We are honoured to play the game we love for NBA fans in Abu Dhabi and around the world. We appreciate all who have worked so hard to create this exciting opportunity for our team and our fans.”

Three-time NBA All-Star and two-time All-NBA Third Team member Karl-Anthony Towns, three-time NBA All-Star and Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert, and 2023 NBA All-Star Anthony Edwards currently play for the Timberwolves.

“As the NBA continues its global expansion, the Minnesota Timberwolves are honoured to be selected for The NBA Abu Dhabi Games,” said Timberwolves chief executive Ethan Casson.

“Thank you to the NBA and the host city of Abu Dhabi for allowing us the opportunity to bring fans together through the game of basketball.”

In January, NBA and DCT Abu Dhabi launched an expanded second season of the Jr NBA Abu Dhabi League, featuring boys’ and girls’ leagues each composed of 450 players ages 11-14 from schools across the UAE capital.

The collaboration also includes a variety of interactive fan events featuring appearances by current and former NBA players, a series of NBA FIT clinics promoting health and wellness, and an NBA 2K League exhibition event.

“We are excited to be preparing for the new season of The NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2023 with the thrilling preseason head-to-head games between the Dallas Mavericks and Minnesota Timberwolves,” said DCT Abu Dhabi director general, Saleh Mohamed Al Geziry.

“We look forward to welcoming the players, teams, and fans to experience the destination and strengthening our efforts to bring the very best in sporting entertainment and engagement across Abu Dhabi.”

The NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2023 will air live in the UAE and across the Middle East and North Africa on BeIN Sports, while tickets will go on sale at a later date. Fans can register their interest in receiving more information by visiting NBA.com/AbuDhabi.

Updated: May 03, 2023, 5:29 AM