NBA love aside, Brits slow to embrace basketball

LONDON -- The NBA is in old London town again this week, and for the British basketball community that is always a delight. For six years now, the annual New Year treat of seeing two stateside giants duking and dunking amid the razzmatazz that goes hand-in-hand with star-spangled pro ball has become a January sporting rite here at the O2 Arena, and even if it's a newish tradition, it's already one to be cherished.
On Thursday at 3 p.m. ET, in the latest of the NBA Global Games series, the Indiana Pacers and the Denver Nuggets will sell out the 20,000-seat stadium. As usual, it will be a night for courtside celebrity-spotting -- "Look, it's Paul McCartney; and oooh, isn't that Spike Lee?" -- as much as watching the basketball. We want the hoops, and we want the hoopla.