The NBA is headed back to China in October.
At the Summer Olympic games, NBA officials promised the league would return. As it develops, the league’s return is a lot quicker than expected. Milwaukee and Golden State will play a pair of preseason games in China.
The Bucks and Warriors will play at 13,000 seat Guangzhou Gymnasium on Wednesday, October 15. The teams than move on to the 17,000 seat Olympic Basketball Arena in Beijing on Saturday, October 18. The NBA China Games 2008 (as these games are being called) will feature the first sporting event at the Olympic Basketball Arena following the Olympics and the first ever NBA game played in Guangzhou.
Yi Jianlian, the second ever Chinese born to play in the NBA and a former number one pick of the Bucks, however, won’t be on the trip. Jianlian, who originally balked at playing in Milwaukee but eventually joined the team last year, was traded to New Jersey earlier this summer.
It is the second year in a row the NBA has played games in China. Last year, Cleveland and Orlando traveled there to play against each other and against a Chinese All-Star team. In 2004, Houston and Sacramento played a game in Shanghai and another in Beijing. The first NBA team to visit the country was Washington, which played the Chinese National Team in 1979.
The games will be televised in China, the United States and several other countries.