The Sacramento Kings have been making a move towards the Indian market since Indian-American owner, Vivek Ranadive, took over the team in 2013. Ranadive is the first person of Indian descent to own an NBA team. In addition, the Sacramento Kings have also signed the first player of Indian descent, Sim Bhullar.
Both Ranadive and Bhullar attended the India Independence Day celebrations in New York City on Sunday. Ranadive was the Grand Marshall of the event, which is one of the biggest India Day celebrations in the country. Ranadive announced at the parade that he and NBA commissioner Adam Silver will be taking a trip to India in December later this year. This will be Adam Silver’s first time leaving the country as NBA commissioner.
Basketball is rapidly growing in India, and it is one of the most played sports for high school aged kids in the country. The purpose of the trip to India will likely be to see how to further grow the game and interest in India. The Sacramento Kings made a recent trip to India earlier this summer, and broadcasted 20 of their games in India. They have also launched an official website in Hindi.
On August 15th, the Kings announced that they have officially signed Sim Bhullar making him the first player of Indian descent to play in the NBA. Sim Bhullar is a 7’5’’, 360 lb. center, who helped the Kings win the Samsung Summer League competition this year.
Bhullar was a standout at New Mexico State University where he was named WAC Tournament Outstanding Player and was named to the WAC all-defensive team in 2014. Bhullar is now the tallest current player in the NBA.