THE Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets are booked for two preseason games in China later this year, the National Basketball Association had announced.
Part of the NBA China Games 2019 Presented by Vivo, the 13th staging of the event, the Lakers and Nets will face each other on Oct. 10 in Shanghai and on Oct. 12 in Shenzhen.
The games will mark the Lakers’ second trip to China following their visit in 2013, when they played two preseason games in Beijing and Shanghai. The Nets will be playing in China for the third time after playing in Beijing and Guangzhou in 2010, and in Beijing and Shanghai in 2014.
The NBA China Games 2019 will be the NBA’s 27th and 28th games in China, with 17 NBA teams having played games in Beijing, Guangzhou, Macao, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Taipei since 2004.
In the twin events, the NBA is expected to line up a series of activities, including the eighth annual NBA Fan Day Presented by Dongfeng Nissan in Shanghai, which will provide thousands of fans the opportunity to enjoy a performance by Chinese celebrities and watch the Lakers and the Nets participate in on-court drills.
“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,” said NBA China Chief Executive Officer Derek Chang in a statement.
For players of the Lakers and the Nets, participating in the NBA China Games is something they are excited about.
“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,” said Los Angeles forward Kyle Kuzma.
“It’s an honor to help celebrate basketball’s growth abroad, and represent Brooklyn and the League on an international stage. The Nets have a connection to fans all over the world, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to visit China and play for our passionate Chinese fans for the very first time,” Nets guard Caris LeVert, for his part, said.
In the ongoing season of the NBA, the Lakers, led by superstar LeBron James, are currently in eighth spot in the West with a 21-19 record while the Nets, featuring former Lakers pick D’Angelo Russell, are number seven in the East with a 20-21 card. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo