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Euroleague basketball rivals to play in U.S.

Maccabi Tel Aviv and Emporio Armani Milan will face off in 2 exhibitions this fall.

Tel Aviv vs Milan EuroleageTel Aviv vs Milan EuroleageMaccabi Tel Aviv (in yellow) will play rival Emporio Armani Milan (in blue) in two U.S. exhibition games this fall. (Photo: Jack Guez / AFP/Getty Images)

The Euroleague, Europe's leading basketball league, announced that two of its top teams will play games in U.S. arenas for the first time as part of the league's world tour.

Six-time champions Maccabi Tel Aviv and three-time champ Emporio Armani Milan will face each other in exhibition matches on Oct. 1 at Chicago's United Center and on Oct. 3 at Madison Square Garden.

An exhibition that the Maccabi team played last October against the Cleveland Cavaliers, with LeBron James and former Maccabi coach David Blatt, was well-received, even if it wasn't particularly competitive. Maccabi also played friendlies against the Knicks in the late 2000s. But this is the first time two Euroleague teams have played each other in a U.S. arena.

It's not a bad idea. Who wants to see a Euroleague team, whose talent compares to the NBA's development league or a good college team, get its doors blown off again by a NBA team? It'll be best to watch two teams that are of the same level play each other. It should be an especially popular game in New York, where they just suffered through one of the worst Knicks seasons ever, so fans there are starving for competitive basketball.

Here are some highlights from Maccabi's game against the Cavs last year:


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