Hardcore basketball fans in China have much to be excited about, as the National Basketball Association (NBA) has just announced their 27th and 28th NBA games in China. The NBA China Games 2019 Presented by Vivo will feature two preseason games between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets. Both teams will play on Thursday, October 10 in Shanghai, followed by another game in Shenzhen on Saturday, October 12.
According to the official press release sent out by the NBA on Monday, the Lakers’ roster currently features the ever-popular, three-time NBA Champion LeBron James, who will head to China with his teammates, including Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma. The Nets, owned by Mikhail Prokhorov and Joe Tsai, executive vice chairman of the China-based e-commerce giant Alibaba, currently features a roster that includes D’Angelo Russell, Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen and Spencer Dinwiddie.
NBA China CEO Derek Chang extended a statement on behalf of the teams. “We would like to extend our warmest welcome to the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets as we celebrate the 27th and 28th NBA games in China. These games are the pillars of our efforts to bring authentic NBA action to our Chinese fans. I want to thank the cities of Shanghai and Shenzhen for their support and commitment to help us grow the game and promote an active and healthy lifestyle in China.”
Kuzma, now a hot favorite with local fans after his visit in June 2018, has also voiced his excitement to return. “The entire Los Angeles Lakers organization is excited to return to China to play in front of the passionate Chinese fans. During my visit to China, I was absolutely amazed by the fans’ love and excitement for the game of basketball. We would like to thank you in advance for coming out to support us in Shanghai and Shenzhen and I know the atmosphere at the games will be great.”
Kyle Kuzma in the flesh. Image via @lakersscene/Instagram
To date, 17 NBA teams have played 26 games in Beijing, Guangzhou, Macao, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Taipei since 2004.
Additional details about both these games will be announced at a later date.
[Cover image via @nbashots2k/Instagram]