Basketball fans in China are in for a treat.
The league recently announced via its official website, NBA.com, that two of their most exciting teams, the Golden State Warriors and Minnesota Timberwolves, will be playing in their country in a pair of preseason games later this year.
The first match will take place in Shenzhen on October 5 and their next game, three days after in Shanghai.
Commissioner Adam Silver spoke about the exciting development as the league is committed to bringing live games closer to its fans around the world. He also discussed what it will mean to the players of both teams to experience China’s culture.
“We are committed to bringing live NBA games to our passionate and growing fanbase in China. Beyond the action on the court, these visits allow our teams and players to experience a different culture and bond with one another through community service, fan events and involvement in the local community.”
Stephen Curry also shared his excitement even if it will be his second trip to the country after visiting it four years ago.
“I have visited China every year since 2013, and the fans there are incredibly supportive of me, the Warriors and the NBA. I’m excited about the opportunity to return to China, enjoy the country’s culture, and bring the excitement of live NBA games directly to Chinese fans.”
However, for Karl-Anthony Towns, it will be his first time and said he is looking forward to traveling with his teammates and coaches to meet their fans there.
“It is a great privilege for me and my teammates to play in China for the first time in our franchise’s history. When I visited last summer, I was amazed at the passion that Chinese fans have for the game of basketball. Traveling to China with my teammates and coaches will be a fantastic experience.”
By playing in China, it will help the league expand its reach and have more fans watch their games in the coming years, and with the country having the biggest population, more talented Chinese players may also be given a chance to showcase their talent and play at the highest level in the future.