NBA China Games score big in Shanghai
Updated 08:05, 11-Oct-2018
Charlotte Bates
For the first time, the Dallas Mavericks and the Philadelphia 76ers played in China on Friday to become the latest teams to participate in the NBA China Games since its inception in 2004.
As the rest of the NBA teams get ready for the year with pre-season games in the US, the Mavs and the 76ers took their talents to Shanghai at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, where CGTN Digital witnessed the Sixers top Dallas 120-114.
But the final score wasn't the main story. It was the reaction from the NBA fans 7,000 miles from the US.
"Trust the process. Trust the process. Trust the process," 76ers fans shouted from the stands to an electric arena.
"Sixers are my team," one fan said. "I have played basketball for 12 years in Shanghai and I love the game. My family and I have been looking forward to tonight for months. My son wants to be an NBA player."
Front row court seats with CGTN Digital

Front row court seats with CGTN Digital

Tickets have sold out for all NBA pre-season games played in China, which for many are the only opportunity each year to see NBA players in person.
The face value of tickets range from as low as 55 US dollars for an upper bowl seat to as high as 2,800 US dollars for a courtside seat, but the high price tag didn't seem to put anyone off.
"It was really hard to buy a ticket, but I was lucky because my friend stayed online all night and bought a ticket for me," Zhang Xiao from Beijing said. "Everyone from work was really jealous as they tried but couldn't get any. I think the tickets sold out within seconds."
With Shanghai this year marking the sport's 25th game played in China, the sport's popularity in the country is at an all-time high and even the NBA live game production team are noticing the difference.
CGTN's Charlotte Bates interviews Chinese NBA fans

CGTN's Charlotte Bates interviews Chinese NBA fans

"The Chinese fans are amazing because they know so much about the game," said NBA technical director Rob Baxter. "Everybody here knows all the players. It's phenomenal. In many ways it's more than in the United States, how aware they are."
"The Chinese technical team, who I get to work with are world class," Baxter added. "What you need – they get it done. They love the game. They love the teams. They jump through hoops for us when we come here to put on this event."
More than 700 million viewers in China watched NBA programming on television last season. Yet another sign that the Chinese fans have become an integral part of the NBA prosperity both at home and abroad.
But it wasn't just Chinese attending the event in Shanghai, with many fans coming from all over Asia and across the world.
Live at the NBA China Games with CGTN

Live at the NBA China Games with CGTN

"I travelled here all the way from South Korea just for the game," said die-hard fan Josh Lee. "It lived up to more than expectation. It was really good."
"I used to play," Lee explained. "I used to look up to a lot of the players and now it's kind of funny because they are all younger than me. It was good to see all the guys playing."
And while there is still a lot buzz around this year's NBA China Games, it is not over yet. Next up is Shenzhen as the city wraps up the second of two pre-season games on October 8 in style.
Cameraman/ video editor: Danni Zhu
Reporter: Charlotte Bates