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NBA (National Basketball Association)

LeBron James coming to China as LA Lakers and Brooklyn Nets sign on to play Shenzhen pre-season game in October

  • Second visit for Lakers, third for Nets
  • Lakers much improved with LeBron James in their roster
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 January, 2019, 1:17pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 January, 2019, 2:47pm

LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers will play a pair of exhibition games against the Brooklyn Nets in China later this year ahead of the 2019-20 National Basketball Association (NBA) season, the league said on Monday.

The Lakers, 16-time champions, and Nets will play in Shanghai on October 10 followed by a game in Shenzhen on October 12, extending the trend of NBA squads competing in China.

The games will mark the Lakers’ second trip to China following their initial visit in 2013, while the Nets will be playing in China for the third time after visits in 2010 and 2014.

Since 2004, 17 NBA teams have played 26 games in Beijing, Guangzhou, Macao, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Taipei.

The Lakers have not made the play-offs since 2013 but will surely be a draw given a roster that features three-time NBA champion James.

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Nets minority partner Joe Tsai, who bought 49 per cent of the team last year, is the executive vice-chairman of the China-based e-commerce giant Alibaba and was named to the NBA China board of directors last October.

Alibaba is the owner of the South China Morning Post.