THE NBA’S ROYALTIES: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge won’t be catching Monday night’s Nets-Cavaliers game at The Barclays Center just for kicks. They will also be there to let fans know that The Royal Foundation and the NBA have formed a partnership between the Foundation’s United for Wildlife and Coach Core programs and the league’s NBA Cares global social responsibility program. The aim is to spotlight international wildlife conservation, develop the next generation of conservation leaders, and, of course, bolster the game of basketball.
There was no word Sunday whether Beyoncé and Jay Z will take up their usual posts courtside with the royals. But the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Dikembe Mutombo and the Atlanta Hawks’ Al Horford have been named United for Wildlife Ambassadors, joining the ranks of David Beckham, Andy Murray, Lewis Hamilton and Yao Ming. Their team captain, so to speak, is none other than the Duke of Cambridge, who is leading wildlife charities around the globe to try to create change and preserve nature.
The NBA will also work with the Royal Foundation’s Coach Core program, an initiative geared toward grooming young people to become the next generation of inspirational coaches. Look for the ever camera-ready Carmelo Anthony to jet off to London for the Jan. 14 Coach Core graduation. The NBA All-Star will be doing double duty since his team, the New York Knicks, will be facing off with the Milwaukee Bucks as part of this season’s NBA Global Games. Should the super-athletic, sports-loving Royal Couple catch that showdown, they will no doubt bolster the fan base significantly.
Maybe NBA commissioner Adam Silver will be inspired to cross the pond after seeing what his NFL counterpart Roger Goodell has accomplished. This season, the NFL struck some ratings gold with three sell-out games at Wembley Stadium and three more are planned for London next year.