Stars and fans looking forward to January NBA showdown in London

London's status as the world's top global entertainment hub will be further underlined in the new year as two of the world's biggest basketball teams head to the city for an NBA showdown.

Following on from the success of the NFL American football games held at Wembley Stadium, London sports fans, as well as tourists, will be given the chance to see the Brooklyn Nets and the Atlanta Hawks in action at the O2 Arena.

The match, which will take place at the popular London arena on the evening of January 16th, will be the fourth regular NBA season game to be played in the UK capital in as many years.

While the game may be a few weeks away yet and plenty of tickets are still available, the players themselves are already looking forward to showing off their skills in front of an excited London crowd as well as being able to spend some time in the most exciting city on the planet.

"I think it's great that we only have to play one game and we have a couple of days to take it all in," says Kyle Korver, who plays guard for the Hawks.

"When there are a couple of days around the game on both sides it's a really exciting thing. Because we get to come over and take in the sights I think it's really exciting and the most excited people are our wives who get to hang out in London."

The NBA showdown is far from the only eye-catching event taking place at the O2 Arena over the Christmas and New Year period.

Festive highlights include performances by the likes of Status Quo, JLS, The Prodigy and Boyzone, who will be celebrating 20 years at the top with a special anniversary show before a sell-out crowd.

In January, meanwhile, American pop-rock band Maroon 5 will be playing two nights before Taylor Swift arrives for a five-night residency at the beginning of February.

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