Hornets and Clippers to play first NBA game in Shenzhen, China

 The National Basketball Association (NBA) announced today that NBA Global Games China 2015 will feature two preseason games between the Charlotte Hornets and the Los Angeles Clippers this October.

The Clippers and Hornets will play the NBA’s first game ever in Shenzhen when they meet on Oct. 11 at the Shenzhen Universiade Center, followed by a rematch in Shanghai on Oct. 14 at the Mercedes-Benz Arena. The games in China will be part of NBA Global Games 2015, with additional games announced at a later date.

The announcement took place today in Shenzhen with NBA China CEO David Shoemaker and Deputy Director of Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of Culture, Sports and Tourism Ke Gangming. Eight-time NBA All-Star and NBA Global Ambassador Dikembe Mutombo also participated in the announcement and hosted a basketball clinic for fans.

NBA Global Games China 2015 will feature a variety of off-court activities including NBA Cares community programs. The games are supported by promoters AEG Live Asia and iRENA Group, as well as several marketing and merchandising partners, and will be available worldwide on television, digital and social media.

The Clippers are led by eight-time NBA All-Star Chris Paul, five-time All-Star Blake Griffin, two-time Sixth Man of the Year Award winner Jamal Crawford and DeAndre Jordan, who is on track to finish the season as the league leader in rebounding and field goal percentage for the second consecutive year. This will be the Clippers’ second trip to China, following games in Beijing and Shanghai in 2012.

The Hornets’ roster features 2013-14 All-NBA Third Team selection Al Jefferson, as well as emerging stars Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. NBA Global Games 2015 will be the franchise’s first trip to China.

The NBA in 2004 became the first American professional sports league to compete in China, with two exhibition games between the Houston Rockets and the Sacramento Kings in Shanghai and Beijing. Following NBA Global Games China 2015, the NBA will have played 20 games in Greater China since 2004. The NBA is the most popular sports league in China, and basketball is the nation’s number one team sport, with 300 million people playing the game.

For information on the NBA’s growth and international games history visit NBA.com/global.

Executive Quotes:

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver:
“Basketball is more popular than ever, and Global Games China 2015 is part of our ongoing commitment to growing the game in the world’s most populous nation. These games will not only bring the excitement of NBA action directly to Chinese fans, but will also provide the league another opportunity to experience the rich history and culture of China.”

Charlotte Hornets Chairman Michael Jordan:
“The Charlotte Hornets are excited to play in NBA Global Games China and help grow the NBA’s brand internationally, while showcasing the strength of our franchise and team to millions of Chinese basketball fans.”

Los Angeles Clippers Owner Steve Ballmer:
“Returning to China to participate in the NBA Global Games China is another important step in establishing the Clippers as a first-class international franchise. We are looking forward to representing Los Angeles and the NBA as we bring our exciting brand of basketball to all of our fans in China.”

NBA China CEO David Shoemaker:
“We are delighted to have two young and talented teams in the Clippers and Hornets showcase the best NBA basketball to our fans in China. We thank the Chinese Basketball Association and the cities of Shenzhen and Shanghai for their support as we continue to work with them to get more boys and girls to play and enjoy basketball and to grow the game in China.”

NBA Legend Dikembe Mutombo:
“I have been to the largest cities and the smallest villages in China, and the one constant is their love and knowledge of basketball and the NBA. Walking down the street I am humbled that the fans know and recognize me, even though I have retired from the game, and that to me speaks volumes about the NBA’s popularity in China.”

Director of Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of Culture, Sports and Tourism Zhang Heyun:
“We are honored to bring the NBA Global Games to Shenzhen for the first time. We extend our warmest welcome to the two teams and we look forward to providing this unforgettable experience to the great fans of Shenzhen.”

Director of Shanghai Administration of Sports Li Yuyi:
“The NBA Global Games is one of the highlights of the Shanghai sports calendar. The buzz and energy surrounding the event is incredible, as it showcases some of the best oncourt NBA action along with the community visits that allow ordinary fans to see the players up close and for the players to experience Shanghai.”