It turns out the Lakers will do more than play basketball and sight see during their trip to China next month.
The Lakers announced they and the Golden State Warriors will help out with NBA Fan Appreciation Day Oct. 17 at the Oriental Sports Center in Shanghai, a free event NBA China launched to allow 13,000 fans to see the Lakers and Warriors participate in various basketball drills. Select fans will also join both teams for various three-point and half-court shooting contests.
In addition to both teams, former Lakers forward A.C. Green as well as Dell Curry, Muggsy Bogues, the Lakers and Warrior Girls as well as Golden State’s dunk team will participate in the event. Before NBA Fan Appreciation Day, Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni and his players plan to host a clinic for 60 Special Olympic athletes, which will feature a variety of fitness and basketball drills. There, the NBA and Shanghai Sports Bureau will also feature the last five shots of the “Shoot Two Million Hoops” program, a campaign aimed to promote an active and healthy lifestyle. The program began on May 31, which entailed fans shooting baskets at various schools and community arounds Shanghai. Current and former NBA players will take the final five shots. (Click here for more information on obtaining tickets).
This event serves as part of the NBA’s Global Games, which include 12 teams playing a league-record 10 regular season and preseason games in eight cities in six countries and territories. Those include stops in Bilbao, Spain; Istanbul, Turkey; London and Manchester, UK; Manila, Philippines; Mexico City, Mexico; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Taipei. The Lakers wll play the Warriors in China both on Oct. 15 in Beijing and on Oct. 18 in Shanghai.
China’s attraction to the Lakers remains obvious.
The Lakers, valued recently by Forbes at $1 billion, remains one of the world’s most valuable sports brands. The Lakers spent part of the 2010 preseason playing in London and Barcelona. Kobe Bryant has attracted a large following China, thanks to his promotional Nike stops there, his involvement with various Chinese organizations and, of course, his strong play.
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