BNZ Breakers Heading to the NBA Again
The games will be against the Portland Trailblazers on October 11 and the Utah Jazz on October 17.The game against the Trailblazers is particularly special because they signed former Breaker Rayan Rupert as the 43rd overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft two months ago.
The Trailblazers also have former Breakers' Assistant Coach Jacob Mooallen on their staff and is starting his second season with the NBA outfit as their Analytics Coach.
Mooallen spent two seasons with the Breakers in Australia working alongside Mody Maor during the COVID years but it is Rupert who is most familiar to Breakers' fans.
The young French phenom helped the Breakers reach the 2023 NBL Championship Series in March.
“We are excited to continue the tradition of participating in the NBL versus NBA games,” says Breakers Majority Owner Matt Walsh.
“It’s an amazing opportunity for our players to play on basketball’s biggest stage against the best teams in the world.
“The Breakers have become the benchmark globally for developing future NBA talent and we can't wait to play against former Breaker Next Star Rayan Rupert.”
“Rupert is the fifth NBL Next Star – the NBL’s player development program for top prospects – to be drafted directly from the NBL into the NBA, following LaMelo Ball (Charlotte Hornets), R.J. Hampton (most recently with the Detroit Pistons) and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Josh Giddey and Ousmane Dieng.
The Breakers are not the only NBL team to play against NBA opposition next month.
The Cairns Taipans have games confirmed, against the Toronto Raptors and the Washington Wizards.
“With the Adelaide 36ers having defeated the Phoenix Suns last year, we know these four games will generate great interest and anticipation in Australia, the U.S and Canada,” says NBL Commissioner Jeremy Loeliger.
“The connection and relationship between the NBL and NBA is constantly growing and evolving, and these preseason meetings are a definite highlight in the calendar.
“We can’t wait to see the Breakers and Cairns take on some of the very best in October.”
“We’re thrilled to continue the tradition of hosting NBL teams during the NBA preseason,” says NBA Asia Vice President of Marketing Partnerships Francesco Suarez.
“We look forward to four great games in October when the Taipans and the Breakers visit the Jazz, Raptors, Trail Blazers, and Wizards.
“These games generate significant excitement and interest in Australia and New Zealand and showcase how much talent there is around the world.”