Marquee names of the National Basketball Association (NBA) such as Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups and Danny Granger will be battling it out in Beijing in early October to mark the opening of the refurbished Wukesong Arena.
The NBA and the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Sports announced yesterday that the Denver Nuggets and the Indiana Pacers will play a preseason game on Oct 11 in the nation's capital.
This will be the NBA's eighth preseason game played in Greater China and the third game played in Beijing.
The game at the Wukesong Arena, capacity 17,022 and formerly known as the Beijing Olympic Basketball Arena, will feature one of the NBA's hottest teams last year.
The Nuggets advanced to the Western Conference Finals and are led by Anthony, a two-time NBA all-star, and Billups, the 2004 NBA Finals MVP.
Granger, an all-star for Indiana, was the winner of the NBA's 2008-09 Most Improved Player award presented by Kia Motors and the fifth leading scorer in the league this past season.
"The Wukesong Arena is an outstanding facility that we are proud to call the home of the NBA in Beijing," said Tim Chen, CEO of NBA China. "We are honored for the NBA's return and our third NBA game in Beijing and are looking forward to providing a great game between the Nuggets and Pacers in October."
"The CBA is glad that our long-standing relationship with the NBA will once again bring the excitement of live basketball to fans in China," said Xin Lancheng, executive vice president and secretary general of the Chinese Basketball Association.
As part of the league's commitment to social responsibility, NBA Cares will conduct community events in Beijing designed to positively impact the city and its youth.
Since it began in 2005, NBA Cares has built a total of 17 "Learn and Play Centers" in China and more than 425 sites in 20 countries across five continents where kids and families can join and play basketball.
The game in Beijing is the fifth preseason game the NBA has announced it will play outside the United States and Canada this October.
The Nuggets and Pacers will play the NBA's first-ever game in Taipei on Oct 8. NBA Europe Live presented by EA SPORTS will feature the Chicago Bulls and the Utah Jazz in London on Oct 6 and the Jazz against the Euroleague's Real Madrid in Madrid on Oct 8. NBA Mexico Game 2009 will feature the Phoenix Suns and the Philadelphia 76ers in Monterrey, Mexico on Oct 18. To date, the NBA has staged a total of 93 games outside of the US and Canada in 31 cities in 16 countries and regions.
(China Daily July 23, 2009)