LeBron James and the LA Lakers, plus the Brooklyn Nets, will be shipping off to Shanghai and then Shenzhen for the 13th edition of the NBA China Games. The series offers a platform for China’s massive NBA fanbase to catch the stars up close.
James was in China as recently as this summer for a Nike-sponsored tour, but the games in Shanghai and Shenzhen will give fans the opportunity to watch the legend in action. It’s a moment of internal conflict for China’s longtime Lakers fans, who’ve always held Kobe Bryant in highest esteem, and who sometimes view LeBron’s imposing physical style as the direct foil to Kobe’s finesse-based game.
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For the Lakers, this is their second visit to China, after their first trip to the country in 2013. On the roster this time around, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, and Brandon Ingram will join James for the match in Shanghai on October 10, and the rematch in Shenzhen on October 12.
The Nets are no strangers to China themselves, having visited twice before. And their tie to the country could be stronger now than ever before, with Alibaba Executive Vice Chairman Joe Tsai having acquired 49% of the team earlier this year.
For now, the game is still on the distant horizon. But with superstar James at the forefront and China’s NBA fever at an all time high, the 13th NBA China Games could be the biggest yet.
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