Team to fine-tune their preparations for the year ahead in South America.
Joakim Noah says he’s looking forward to the first ever NBA match in Brazil, with his Chicago Bulls slated to face Washington Wizards on October 12.
Noah, 28, and son of former French Open tennis champion Yannick Noah, and Cecilia Rodhe, a former Miss Sweden, said it was high time Brazil got to see NBA in the flesh.
And he is likewise itching to see Rio host the 2016 Olympic Games.
“In Rio I want to go to Ipanema beach — I like the Girl from Ipanema,” joked Bulls center Noah of Antonio Carlos Jobim’s iconic song.
“I want to get to know the beach — the girl too!,” O Globo daily quoted Noah as saying.
The fixture is scheduled for Rio’s 18,000-capacity HSBC Arena.
The NBA has previously held pre-season warm-ups abroad, including in Britain, China and Mexico.
Wizards guard Bradley Beal said in a teleconference interview that the match ought to be a great occasion between two well-matched teams.
“It will be very competitive,” said Beal.
Also going up against Noah will be Wizards’ former Denver Nuggets power forward Nene, a Brazilian international who will be bent on impressing his home crowd.