NEW YORK (AP) The NBA is opening a basketball-themed entertainment center in China, another effort to connect with fans where it enjoys huge popularity.
The league says Tuesday that NBA China will open the NBA Playzone in Shanghai later this summer.
Located in the Hubin Dao Shopping Mall at Xin Tian Di, the 1,500-square meter center will feature 10 elements, including an arena measuring about one-third the size of a regulation court, a store, party rooms and a snack bar and a youth obstacle course.
NBA mascots Clutch of the Houston Rockets - a favorite team of the Chinese from Yao Ming's years with the team - and Benny the Bull of the Chicago Bulls will make regular appearances.
The NBA has played 20 games since 2004. Yao, the first pick in the 2002 draft, will be enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in September.