Hornets, Clippers to play preseason games in China

The Charlotte Hornets and Los Angeles Clippers will play a pair of preseason games in China.
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The Charlotte Hornets and Los Angeles Clippers will play a pair of preseason games in China, the league announced on Wednesday.

The two teams will play the league’s first ever game in Shenzhen on Oct. 11 at the Shenzhen Universiade Center. They will then play another game on Oct. 14 at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said the games will help bring the game to a growing audience. “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,” Silver said. “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.”

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Hornets owner Michael Jordan and Clippers owner Steve Ballmer echoed Silver’s sentiments. 

“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,” Jordan said.

“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,” Ballmer said. “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.”

The Clippers are 46-25 this season and the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference, while the Hornets are 30-39 and the No. 9 seed in the Eastern Conference.

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- Paul Palladino