In addition to growing in popularity within the continental United States, the NBA has also made strides in continuing to spread the game globally. Last summer they held the annual NBA Africa Game, which featured former Los Angeles Lakers forward Luol Deng and center JaVale McGee.
Then in October, the Dallas Mavericks and Philadelphia 76ers played a preseason game in Shanghai, and another in Shenzhen, China. The NBA has previously hosted games in Beijing, Guangzhou, Macao and Mexico City, among other international locations.
Although travel challenges can arise, particularly in the event a regular-season game is played internationally, the strategy has seemingly been beneficial for the league and teams. And now the Lakers appear poised to take part yet again.
They are expected to face the Brooklyn Nets for 2019-20 preseason games, according to ESPN:
The Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets will travel to China later this year for games before the start of the 2019-20 season, multiple sources told ESPN’s Michael Yuan.
The NBA launched their China Games, a two-game preseason series that takes place in October, in 2004. The first matchups were headlined by Yao Ming and the Houston Rockets as they faced the Sacramento Kings.
The Lakers played in London in 2010 and were among eight teams that traveled to China to take part in a global games schedule in 2013. It marked the Lakers’ first-ever trip to China.
For LeBron James, the 2019 trip will mark his third time playing in China. He previously did so with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2007 and the Miami Heat in 2013. James and his Nike signature brand are extremely popular in China.
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