07:55 GMT25 November 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): Two National Basketball Association (NBA) teams - the Sacramento Kings and the Indiana Pacers, have touched down in India as the country gears up to host its first-ever NBA game in Mumbai, the financial capital of the country.

    The Sacramento Kings, an American professional basketball team took a trip to the Indian city of Agra to experience one of the “Seven Wonders of the World” – the Taj Mahal, on Wednesday, taking the opportunity to explore the country.

    The NBA team, owned by Indian-American businessman Vivek Yeshwant Ranadivé, looked very excited on their trip to Agra. 

    The Sacramento Kings' official Twitter account shared pictures and videos of the team taking in the white-marbled Mughal architectural marvel with its one million followers.

    Over the past several years, multiple NBA players including Kevin Durant, Kenneth Faried and Brook Lopez – have posted pictures with the iconic monument in India, but this is probably the first time an entire NBA team has visisted the historical monument.

    Called the “symbol of love”, the construction of the Taj Mahal began in 1631 and was completed over a span of 22 years by Mughal emperor Shan Jahan as a place to house the tomb of his late beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal.

    Veteran forward Harrison Barnes made his second trip of the year to the Taj Mahal, exclaiming "It’s a bucket-list experience, for sure.” 

    “It’s beautiful! They haven’t painted any of it. It’s the original stone that they used,” the media reports quoted first-year head coach Luke Walton as saying.

    Getting into the vibe of India, the Sacramento Kings squad re-energised their spirit with the catchphrase “Jai Ho” from the Oscar-winning movie Slumdog Millionaire, which is based on a teenager from the slums of Mumbai.

    India will be added to the list of countries that have hosted a pre-season NBA game, when the Pacers and Kings face off in Mumbai on 4 and 5 October. Other international destinations to have this honour include China, Germany, the UK, Mexico and the Philippines. 


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