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China Daily Website

NBA announce Lakers and Kobe coming to China

Updated: 2013-03-06 09:58
By Guan Xiaomeng ( chinadaily.com.cn)

Chinese NBA fans will get another chance to watch Kobe Bryant in action when the basketball star returns to the country where he won gold in the 2008 Olympics.

The NBA announced on Tuesday that eight teams will play eight games globally in October. The last two stops on the tour will be Beijing and Shanghai, where Bryant's Los Angeles Lakers will take on the Golden State Warriors.

The Oklahoma City Thunder, Philadelphia 76ers, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards will also be traveling abroad.

Bryant is a frequent visitor to China on commercial or charity missions and is happy to play again on the court where he won his first Olympic gold. "Every summer I travel to China to meet the fans, and I can't wait to play for them again in Beijing and Shanghai," he said.

"I'm excited to play in China for the first time and I know the fans there are among the most passionate NBA fans in the world," said Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. "We look forward to putting on a great show, feeding off the excitement of the crowds, and taking the opportunity to interact with all of the great Chinese fans."

The Beijing game will be played at the MasterCard Center on Oct 15, while the Shanghai stop will be at the Mercedes-Benz Arena on Oct 18.

The Philippines and Brazil will join the tour leg for the first time with Manila and Bilbao representing their countries.

The tour will incorporate NBA Cares community outreach events, as well as interactive fan events.

The NBA has staged 138 preseason and regular-season games in 19 countries and territories across Europe, the Americas and Asia since 1978. The 2013 NBA China will be the sixth since 2004.