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NBA Schedule Announcement Happened, But Is Besiktas Vs. Dexia Mons The First Big Game Of Next Season?

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The NBA schedule will be announced this afternoon but, with the NBA lockout, that seems a bit futile at this juncture of the negotiations. So instead, with the help of the best European transactions database this side of the Atlantic, I decided to take a look at the first big game of the upcoming 2011-12 basketball season.

Turns out, the most exciting game will probably be between the NBA players of Turkey's Besiktas and the Dexia-Mons Hainut NBA Summer League All-Stars on Sept. 27.

Besiktas, of course, will boast New Jersey Nets point guard Deron Williams -- if the lockout persists -- and Atlanta Hawks center Zaza Pachulia. The team is also thinking of adding Kobe Bryant, but only if they up their offer from $500,000 per month to an even one million dollars (insert Dr. Evil laugh if that's still relevant).

Dexia-Mons Hainut, wrestling out of parts unknown Belgium, so far features a mixture of world champion Dallas Mavericks rejects and NBA Summer League veterans.

Shan Foster and Ahmad Nivins were both second round picks of the Mavs in drafts of the past while Warren Carter has shown up on the Mavs' -- and Knicks -- Vegas Summer League rosters over the past few years. None of the three will ever achieve the NBA success of their Besiktas rivals, but considering both Nivins and Forster played for Dexia-Mons last season, they might have a bit of chemistry on their side.

And yes, that's what this lockout has led me to do -- previewing second-tier transnational professional basketball competition games in Europe over two months in advance. Make it end please, Mr. Stern.