Heat, Nets, Hornets and Wizards chosen for preseason Europe Live tour

Updated: March 4, 2008, 6:27 PM ET
Associated Press

MIAMI -- Dwyane Wade will get to see his popularity in Europe first-hand next fall.

Wade and the Heat will begin preseason play in Paris and London this October against the New Jersey Nets as part of the NBA Europe Live tour, a person with knowledge of the schedule told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Also on the tour, the New Orleans Hornets will play the Washington Wizards in Berlin and Barcelona, according to the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the NBA has not formally announced the matchups.

Neither the league nor the Heat would confirm the plans Tuesday.

The NBA is expected to announce the pairings later this month, and the Heat games are expected to be held on Oct. 9 and Oct. 12, which would likely mean that the clubs involved will open training camp a few days earlier than the rest of the league.

Selecting the Heat makes sense for one big reason: Wade.

During the 2006-07 season, Wade's No. 3 was the best-selling NBA jersey in Europe, ahead of Denver's Allen Iverson, San Antonio's Tony Parker, the Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant and Cleveland's LeBron James. Plus, Wade's Converse brand sneaker was the top seller in Europe last year, company officials said.

This trip would figure to further enhance Wade's popularity overseas, especially since it'll come about six weeks after the Olympics in Beijing -- where Wade and USA Basketball will be favored to win a gold medal.

Boston, Toronto, Memphis and Minnesota were on the NBA Europe tour last fall.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press