NBA London Game 2018: Philadelphia 76ers small forward Robert Covington enjoying time in capital ahead of clash with Boston Celtics
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76ers host Celtics at The O2 on Thursday night
Philadelphia 76ers small forward Robert Covington says he feels privileged to take part in the NBA London Game 2018.
The 76ers face Boston Celtics at London’s The O2 on Thursday night, with tip off at 8pm.
It will be the first time Philadelphia have participated in the annual regular season game in the capital, and Covington is enjoying his time in the United Kingdom.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Not too many people get to do what we’re doing here in London,” said the 27-year-old.
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“You have the chance to see a new place, a lot of history, venture out.
“There is so much to do here and I’m kind of sad that we won’t stay too long because there is so much that I would like to do and see, but I’ll try to make the best of my time while I’m here.”
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Boston will also be playing competitively in London for the first time this week, though did take part in a pre-season game at The O2 in October 2007.
For many of the Celtics squad, this week has been the first time they have been to the capital of the United Kingdom.
And guard Terry Rozier is among those enjoying every minute of his time in London ahead of the game.
“I’m loving London! It’s got some similarities with some cities in the US,” declared the 23-year-old.
“It’s great — I can’t wait to go out and get some shopping done and see what it’s really like around the city.”
Many players from both teams will be playing in a new venue on Thursday having not played at The O2 previously.
But Philadelphia forward Ben Simmons does not think it will take the squads too long to adapt to their new surroundings.
“I think, when we’ll walk in the arena, it’s going to look a little different, but once the ball is in the air it’s going to be the same thing as everywhere else,” said the 21-year-old.
Simmons, meanwhile, is one 76ers player Celtics centre Aron Baynes knows can be a threat.
“He’s very talented and he’s been doing some great things in his rookie season and he’s just getting better every time he steps out on the floor,” he said.
• Philadelphia 76ers host Boston Celtics at The O2 in London on January 11 as part of NBA London Game 2018.
The game is live on BT Sport or via NBA LEAGUE PASS.