The NBA has been reaching out to international basketball fans for the past several years with the intention of marketing their league, its teams and its players. The NBA recognizes basketball’s global appeal and with events like the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, there is no question of those fans’ interest in the NBA and its players.
The NBA will be sending eight different teams to play exhibition games throughout six different countries. The Lakers traveled to London and Barcelona back in 2010 during the preseason, while the Miami Heat and the LA Clippers played exhibition games in Beijing and Shanghai earlier this season.
Players like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Dwight Howard are hugely popular in Asia especially. Additionally, professional basketball is evolving into a much more international game, as players like Yao Ming has seen incredible success in the game in the United States.
The Lakers will become the latest team to participate in exhibition games for next season in China, as scheduling for these events became official today.
The Lakers will play two exhibitions games next season in China against Golden State Warriors in Beijing (Oct. 15) & Shanghai (Oct. 18)
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) March 5, 2013
Players’ sponsors, such as Nike and Adidas, already hold player tours in Asia to capitalize on the immense popularity of their clients, like Kobe Bryant, and the sport of basketball, which is growing in popularity at an exponential rate. In fact, Kobe Bryant recently made an appearance in a new Nike commercial airing in China.
While the Lakers still have a lot of work to do this season, it will be fun to see the team travel to China to play the game.