NBA regular-season into China

Updated: 2006-08-06 15:08
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David Stern, the commissioner of the National Basketball Association (NBA), said Sunday that he is planning to restore the NBA China Game next year, which could feature some regular-season games for the first time in China.

The NBA bring two pre-season games between the Houston Rockets and the Sacramento Kings to China in 2004, the first time the NBA matches being played in China.

"We didn't have the China Game in the following year in 2005 because we were having a collective bargain then. We don't have it this year because of the preparation of the World Championships," Stern said.

"But we are planning to play some games next year here. It could be pre-season (games), or even regular season (games)," said Stern, who is here for the U.S. team's warm-up against China and Brazil for the world championships.

The tickets for the China-U.S. game, which will be played on Monday, are sold up to 3,800 yuan (about 475 U.S. dollars), and are much higher in the black market.

The price here is almost the same as those of the 2004 China Game in Beijing and Shanghai.

"China is the second biggest market to the NBA, and sometimes even bigger than the United States," Stern added.

The NBA Asia, the Asian bureau of the league, moved its headquarter from Hong Kong of China to Beijing last year, and set up a Shanghai branch to explore the Chinese market.

It expanded from 20 people to 50 in two years and has signed global partner contracts with several Chinese companies.

"We want to make the China Game a continuous competition. We'll have pre-season games, regular-season games, national competitions and coaching clinics here. China is such an exciting market," Stern said.