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  • Writer's pictureFlow Australia

NBA exhibition a slam-dunk for Aussie basketball fans

Legacy jerseys, commemorative art and even the Larry O'Brien Trophy are on display at an exhibition bringing the NBA to Australian audiences.

memorabilia and jerseys from some of the most iconic names in NBA history form part of the exhibition.. Image AAP

Having spent nine years in the National Basketball Association, Aron Baynes knows first-hand the impact the league and sport have across international audiences.

Which is why having unparalleled access to iconic jerseys, memorabilia and even the NBA championship trophy will send Australian fans into a new frenzy.

The NBA Exhibition tipped off in Brisbane on Wednesday and will run through the summer, before heading south to Melbourne, then to either Perth or New Zealand. 

Australian sporting stars including members of the Brisbane Bullets, Brisbane Broncos and even swimmer Emily Seebohm had a first-hand look at items that showcase the history of the league to "hoopers'' with an Australian touch.

At the end of a red carpet is the Larry O'Brien Trophy, securely cased and behind bollards. Further behind it is a huge projection of highlights of the league's biggest stars.

The room is filled with jerseys from all 30 NBA franchises, depicing record-holders and legends of each club in a placard below. 

Virtual-reality headsets provide fans with a glimpse into the game-day routine of Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry, with his signature shoe a glance away, surrounded by other sneakers from greats of the modern game.

On an illuminated wall nearby, an art piece from five Los Angeles Lakers legends, including Wilt Chamberlain, shows signatures dating back to 1992. 

Moving further around, an entire wall is dedicated to former and current Australians who have played in the NBA or WNBA. 

All in all, the exhibition brings to life what has often been a dream for Australian fans.

That dream was lived by Bullets star Baynes, who won a championship with the San Antonio Spurs in 2014.

"With the growth of basketball, it's something that I'm not shocked by," Baynes told AAP when asked if he ever pictured an event of this size and significance in Australia.

"Having seen where it was when I first started playing to where it is now, it's a really good thing and just positive for the entire community.

"There's a few memories walking around. Anything regarding the 2014 championship is always a highlight, and seeing some of my teammates' jerseys up on the wall as well is pretty cool."

Exhibition producer Selen Lakay said a previous showcase of England-based street artist Banksy proved Brisbane was the right spot to begin the tour.

She said Australians always embrace art, sport and cultural exhibitions because of their alignment with brands. 

"We believe in the luck of Brisbane and the Brisbane audience, so that's why we started here," Lakay said. 


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