According to reports, the Brooklyn Nets will go to China during the 2019 preseason to play two games against the Los Angeles Lakers.
ESPN reported Saturday night that the Brooklyn Nets will go to China in October for two preseason games as part of the NBA Global Games series.
According to the report, the Nets and Los Angeles Lakers will play in Shanghai on Oct. 10 and in Shenzhen on Oct. 12.
This can’t be considered a total shocker considering Nets co-owner Joe Tsai was born in Taiwan and has a residence in Hong Kong.
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The executive vice chairman of Chinese-based Alibaba Group, Tsai purchased a 49 percent share of the Nets in October 2017 with an option to buy out Russian owner Mikhail Prokhorov in 2021.
Tsai was also named to the NBA China board of directors last fall.
This will be the third preseason visit to China by the Nets and their second since moving to Brooklyn in 2012.
The then-New Jersey Nets played two games against the Houston Rockets in Beijing and Guangzhou in October 2010 and in October 2014, Brooklyn and the Sacramento Kings played games in Shanghai and Beijing.
The Nets were among three teams, along with the Phoenix Suns and Seattle SuperSonics, that played the first international preseason games in what would become the NBA Global Games in 1984.
The Nets played Maccabi Tel Aviv and Hapoel Tel Aviv in Israel and Simac Milano, Granarolo Bologna and Ciaocrem Varese in Italy before playing the Suns in Milan during that 1984 tour.
The Nets also played a preseason against the Golden State Warriors in Mexico City in October 1999 and two exhibition games against the Miami Heat in Paris and London in October 2008.
In the regular season, the Nets opened the 1996-97 season with two games against the Orlando Magic in Tokyo, played two games against the Toronto Raptors in London in March 2011, faced the Atlanta Hawks in London in January 2014 and played both the Oklahoma City Thunder and Maimi in Mexico City in December 2017.
This season, the NBA played two games in Mexico City Dec. 13 and 15 with the Orlando Magic playing the Chicago Bulls and Utah Jazz, while the New York Knicks and Washington Wizards will play in London on Jan. 17.
The preseason is definitely the right time to stage these games, and playing on Oct. 10 and 12 will allow the players plenty of time to readjust their clocks after coming home, with the NBA’s decision to move the start of the regular season and playoffs back a week in 2019-20.
The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor reported in October that the NBA was backing the schedule up a week to open on Oct. 22 next season, due to the FIBA World Cup to be played Aug. 31-Sept. 15 and also over concerns their season was starting too early.
As far as regular season games, those should be played domestically (except, of course, for Toronto).
Teams surrender an advantage both in terms of games played in their own arenas (homecourt advantage) and in accumulated travel when they
gleefully agree to play international games.
Those sort of things matter when talking about playoff races.
This season, for instance, the Orlando Magic are competing for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 39 home games, where the other teams in the race will have played 41 (the Knicks gave up a home game to play in London, but likely will not factor in the playoff hunt).
I get the argument in favor of playing those games (I believe it starts with the letter “$”), but from a pure competitive standpoint it is a terrible thing to do.
Preseason on the other hand? Play on the Moon. Spread the game all over the universe, I say. Games that don’t count are tailor-made as international marketing engines.