Sports / Basketball

Rockets, Pelicans ready for battle

By Sun Xiaochen in Shanghai (China Daily) Updated: 2016-10-08 07:25

NBA teams eye both on and off-court success in league's largest overseas market

With the arenas already sold out and the stars lining up, both the Houston Rockets and the New Orleans Pelicans are poised to thrill fans with two authentic preseason showdowns while the players take in the whole exotic experience during the NBA Global Games China 2016.

Hot on the heels of China's National Day holidays, hundreds of millions of Chinese basketball fans are preparing to celebrate their own festival as the Rockets and the Pelicans face off in two preseason games, in Shanghai at the Mercedes-Benz Arena on Oct 9 and in Beijing at the LeSports Center on Oct 12.

 Rockets, Pelicans ready for battle

James Harden of the Houston Rockets is introduced during Fan Appreciation Day presented by Dongfeng Nissan as part of the 2016 Global Games China at Oriental Sports Center, in Shanghai ,Oct 7, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

This year's Global Games China marks the 10th edition of the NBA's preseason tour to China, which began with the Rockets first China trip in 2004, when Basketball Hall of Famer Yao Ming led them against the Sacramento Kings in his hometown of Shanghai in front of a passionate local crowd.

The return of the preseason games has underlined the league's commitment to both promoting the game and delivering an authentic NBA experience to Chinese fans.

"NBA fans in China are incredibly passionate and knowledgeable about the game. The China Games deliver the live, authentic NBA experience to our Chinese fans and provide our teams and players an opportunity to learn more about the people and culture here," said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.

This year will be the third time for the Rockets to play on the Chinese mainland after their inaugural trip in 2004 and the games against the New Jersey Nets in 2010. It will be the first time for the Pelicans to play in the country that is the NBA's biggest overseas market.

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