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Stars headline return of NBA

PUBLISHED: 17:34 03 April 2008 | UPDATED: 13:10 05 October 2010

TWO of basketball s biggest stars will be the headline attractions when the Miami Heat face the New Jersey Nets in a pre-season game at the O2 Arena, the NBA announced this week. New Jersey s eight-time all-star Vince Carter and Dwayne Wade, who won an NB

TWO of basketball's biggest stars will be the headline attractions when the Miami Heat face the New Jersey Nets in a pre-season game at the O2 Arena, the NBA announced this week.

New Jersey's eight-time all-star Vince Carter and Dwayne Wade, who won an NBA championship with the Heat in 2006, will go head to head on October 12 in the second pre-season game to be held at the east London venue.

Last year, a capacity crowd filled the arena to watch the Boston Celtics defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves.

With the exciting match-up between Carter and Wade highlighting this year's game, another sell-out is expected.

The match will form part of the four-game NBA Europe Live tour that will also visit the cities of Paris, Berlin and Barcelona.

"Our third consecutive year of the NBA Europe Live is another step in our ongoing efforts to bring the excitement of the NBA to our loyal and passionate fans across Europe," said league commissioner David Stern.

Nets star Carter has been one of basketball's most exciting players since entering the league in 1998, and is considered one of the best scoring guards of all time.

The 31-year-old shot to superstardom during the Olympic Games in 2000 when he performed a slam dunk by leaping over 7-foot-2 French centre Frederic Weiss - a move later dubbed French Toast.

Miami's Wade was voted sportsman of the year in 2006 by US magazine Sports Illustrated after helping the Heat lift the NBA title.

Playing on a team that included giant centre Shaquille O'Neal, Wade was voted most valuable player of the 2006 finals, but he has suffered with injuries this year and admits he is eager to re-launch his career in London.

"I think it's going to be very exciting that we get to be in Europe," Wade said.

"This has been a down year for the Miami Heat but I'm excited about returning and the future is bright.

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