The 76ers will host Australia's National Basketball League champion, Melbourne United, in a preseason game on Sept. 28 at the Wells Fargo Center.
Sixers point guard Ben Simmons and coach Brett Brown have ties to United. Simmons' father, David, played for the Australian professional basketball team, formerly known as the Melbourne Tigers, from 1989 to 1996. Melbourne retired his No. 25 jersey. Brown served as the team's assistant coach from 1988 to 1993.
This season, United won the franchise's fifth title with a victory over the Adelaide 36ers in the final game of the best-of-five championship series. Their other four titles — in 1993, 1997, 2006, and 2008 – came as the Tigers.
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Melbourne was led by former Sixer Casper Ware, a 5-foot-11 point guard who is looking to return to the NBA this season. However, United want to sign him if Ware doesn't sign with an NBA team.
The preseason game will mark the second time Ben Simmons has faced United; he played against the squad in Melbourne in 2015 during his lone season at LSU.
Right now, the NBA rookie of the year is arguably the biggest sports figure in Australia. His 12 triple-doubles in the regular season were the second-highest total for a rookie in NBA history.
The Sixers are coming off their best season since they went to the NBA Finals in 2001. They finished 52-30 in the regular season and fell to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Four NBL teams — the Sydney Kings, the Perth Wildcats, the 36ers and the New Zealand Breakers — also will travel to the U.S. and Canada for preseason games against the Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns, Utah Jazz, and Toronto Raptors. The matchups begin on Sept. 28 and run through Oct. 5. There will be seven games, the most ever between the NBA and an international league in one preseason.
Sixers point guard Ben Simmons and coach Brett Brown have ties to the Melbourne United.