The NBA have announced that the Los Angeles Clippers will take on the Charlotte Hornets in two pre-season games to be played in China in October.
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They will be the first NBA games to be played in Shenzhen, with the first scheduled to be played on October 11 at Shenzhen Universiade Center and the second on October 14 at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.
It marks the continuation of the NBA’s pledge to continue to grow the game around the world, with further games expected to be announced in Europe in the coming weeks and months.
The league has also staged a regular season game in London for the past few years, but there has been no confirmation of which game will be played there in 2016 as of yet.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said that the games will “not only bring the excitement of NBA action directly to Chinese fans, but will also provide the league with another opportunity to experience the rich history and culture of China”, ESPN reports.
While that is also the case, it is no secret that the move is also likely to be financially motivated given the market that China represents to the league and the growing fanbase that the NBA has there.
Silver has even previously suggested that tip off times may be adjusted in order to cater for other markets around the world, and so this is certainly another move inspired by his desire to see the global appeal of basketball increase.
The move was welcomed by Hornets owner Michael Jordan as he agreed that it would be a great way to reward the millions of Chinese basketball fans.