Record 15 NBA clubs to stage Chinese New Year events

NEW YORK (AFP) – National Basketball Association (NBA) clubs will celebrate Chinese New Year starting January 30 with a record 15 league teams hosting in-arena activities and more than 65 games broadcast live in the China region.

A 20-day celebration through February 18 will include former NBA champion Jason Terry visiting China and a series of television promotional spots featuring NBA stars Klay Thompson of Golden State, Damian Lillard of Portland and Giannis Antetokounmpo of Milwaukee as well as Chinese singer Kun.

“Participating in the NBA Chinese New Year campaign has been such a great experience and opportunity to learn more about Chinese New Year traditions,” Greek star Antetokounmpo said.

Terry, who helped Dallas to win the 2011 NBA crown, is in China this week conducting basketball clinics and meeting children in Changsha, Hunan and Beijing.

Half the clubs in the 30-team league will host Chinese-themed celebrations, including Atlanta, Brooklyn, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, reigning champion Golden State, Houston, Indiana, New York, Philadelphia, Sacramento, Toronto, Washington and the Los Angeles Clippers.

Houston, the former club of retired Chinese star Yao Ming, and the Golden State Warriors will wear specially designed uniforms with Chinese characters and symbols inspired by Chinese culture in tribute to Chinese fans.

The 2019 NBA Chinese New Year Celebration debuts January 30 with New Orleans at Houston and the Philadelphia 76ers at the Los Angeles Lakers. The Warriors debut their China-themed jerseys on February 1 at home against Philadelphia while the Houston Rockets unveil their China uniforms the next night when they visit Denver.

Among other matchups, the LeBron James-led Lakers visit Golden State on February 3 with Toronto meeting Philadelphia on February 6, the Lakers facing Boston on February 8, Philadelphia playing Boston on February 13 and Golden State visiting Lillard and Portland the next night.

Houston Rockets players, shown wearing 2013 NBA Chinese New Year shirts, will don new Chinese-themed uniforms for this year’s Chinese New Year celebration. – AFP