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A parade of Chelsea stars old and new take in NBA London 16

Much like the NFL, the NBA has been playing regular season games in London for a few year now.  Which is not really something we care about — though it does make you wonder how long it will be before the Premier League starts reciprocating with mid-season rounds conducted in the USA (or China, or the Moon perhaps?) — but for a lot of the local professional Premier League athletes, this is a big deal.  Or at least it's the place to be and the place to be seen on a Thursday night in the middle of January.

Match nba with the boyss @thibautcourtois @kurtzouma @loicremy972 @kenedy @djilo15

A photo posted by Eden Hazard (@hazardeden_10) on

I see you there in your hipster glasses, Big Papy!  Ain't no party like a Francophone party (plus Kenedy)!

Asmir Begovic was there, too, but apparently he sat away from the main group, perhaps in part due to his social media duties for NBA UK.  Begovic spent a good bit of his childhood living in Canada, so it's unsurprising to see him in a Raptors jersey.

Joining the current crop of Chelsea stars were a couple big names from the past.

Look sharp as ever even when casual, that Ballack.  (Unlike most of the younger stars, if the Daily Mail's snaps are anything to go by...)

And of course there was Didier Drogba, taking center stage as he tends to do.

He put what he learned from three-time NBA champ Rick Fox to good use during a break in the game at the O2 Arena.

Drogba was also in attendance at Stamford Bridge for Wednesday's match.  It's been all quiet on his pending transfer from Montreal back to Stamford Bridge over the past few days, but I expect that to change sooner rather than later.

So, that was a fun distraction, no doubt.  Now, back to work!

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