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NBA magic in China this fall as Cavs, Orlando come to town
Latest Updated by 2007-04-02 08:32:32
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LeBron James is coming to China. So are the rest of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Some of the NBA's biggest pin-ups will arrive in Shanghai this October for the NBA China Games, an exhibition tournament featuring the Cavs, Orlando Magic and China's national team.

The bad news? Yao Ming can't make it.

The Games rocked the nation on their debut in 2004. As the Beijing Olympics rolls ever closer, the three matches scheduled this fall are likely to have an even higher profile.

The Cavs will face the Magic on October 17 at Qizhong Forest Sports City arena in Shanghai, said Heidi Ueberroth, the NBA's president of global business operations.

The three teams will then head to the gambling enclave of Macao, with Orlando playing China at the new Venetian Arena the next day before the all-NBA rematch on October 20.

"Our fans will get to see first hand exciting match-ups featuring some of the best young players in the NBA and in China, and we are pleased to continue our efforts to grow the game with our partners in China," said Ueberroth at a press conference in Shanghai yesterday.

Organizers said they were not worried about the absence of 2.29-meter All-Star Yao Ming, saying basketball was bigger than one man.

"Shanghai is an incredible global destination and we're thrilled to be returning here for our games," said Ueberroth. "We know our fans here are in for a real thrill and our players can't wait."

The news conference featured taped greetings from LeBron and Dwight Howard of the Magic, along with Yi Jianlian, China's latest star.

Yi, a 2.13-meter forward, is expected to enter the first round of this year's NBA draft, making him the fourth Chinese to join the NBA after Wang Zhizhi, Menk Bateer and Yao.

The new trade route from China to the NBA has created a "virtuous cycle," said Mark Fischer, managing director of NBA China.

"Chinese players and fans feel there's a real possibility to enter the NBA."

China's basketball chief hailed the return of China Games.

"We can look forward to some exciting matches, as well as see the solid improvement of Team China as we prepare for the 2008 Olympic Games in the coming months," said Li Yuanwei.

Editor: Donald

By: Source:China View website
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