Though the plans for a Premier League 39th game were blown out of the water long ago, the US seems to have embraced the concept of exporting its sports wholeheartedly. The NFL has been tearing up the grass in front of a packed out Wembley stadium for the past few years now – and though it’s unlikely they’ll ever both coming up to Manchester, we’ve at least now got an alternative, with NBA shipping over two of their star attractions for a game. Oklahoma City Thunder (star names: Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka, if you want to pretend to be a buff) take on Philadelphia 76ers (Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner) as part of the NBA global games series. We imagine they may be a little annoyed that they drew the short straw, given their colleagues on other teams get to visit Rio de Janeiro and Manila among others, but a sell out crowd in typical full Northern voice should set them straight. Over the past decade or so, basketball has started to pick up a real cult following in the UK, largely thanks to it being taught in many schools, and this being the only British date on the world tour means tickets are going to sell out fast – don’t say you weren’t warned.

Tue 8 Oct, Manchester Arena, 21 Hunts Bank, M3 1AR, 7.30pm, £41 – £523,

Tue 8 Oct
Matthew Britton
Published on:
Sun 6 Oct 2013