Fans in China still are buzzing about the latest NBA Global Games days after the Golden State Warriors and Minnesota Timberwolves wrapped up the second of two preseason games in Shanghai.
“Every year I am so moved from the bottom of my heart by how enthusiastic the fans are; this year has been no exception,” said Fan Feifei, a member of the NBA China staff who has helped stage the event for the past six years.
Which begs the question: Is it the right time for China to host an NBA regular-season game? Warriors stars Draymond Green and Klay Thompson both took home stories about interactions with Chinese fans: A male fan cried after Green autographed a jersey, while a woman followed Thompson to every single city he visited in China.
The games played in Shenzhen and Shanghai this year were the 23rd and 24th NBA preseason games played in China.
“I had no idea how it happened, but it seems like the tickets are all gone only a few seconds after we started to sell,” said Ziwei Shao, a staff member of WeTicket, the NBA’s ticket sales partner for the China Games.
The NBA played regular-season games in Japan for six years before shifting the focus of the Asian market to China in 2004.
“We can play games in China and Europe, or occasional preseason games as a one-off, but under existing airline technology, the planes aren’t fast enough to at least play in the current framework of our regular season,” Silver told Amick.
“It’s very difficult for the NBA to expand in China because of the length of travel from the United States to China.
“I believe that the NBA will bring more games to China, just like we are in China now.