Yao Ming, Rockets headed to China for preseason games. Nets get to tag along.


Thumbnail image for NBA_ming.jpgFans in China have stayed up in the middle of the night to watch Yao Ming play for the Houston Rockets. And at the same time vote for the rest of the Rockets to be on the All-Star Team, whether they deserved it or not.

Now, they finally get to see him play live.

The Houston Rockets and New Jersey Nets will play two preseason games in China –Oct. 13 in Beijing at the new arena built in that city for the Olympics, then again Oct. 16 at the Guangzhou International Sports Arena. While there the two teams will do other events to promote the sport with the Chinese Basketball Association.

The NBA has been going to China for years now, but the Rockets and Yao have not been since 2004.

In trying to grow the game internationally, the NBA has had a special eye on the fast-growing (and massive) market in China. Bringing Yao back home to play will certainly create a huge buzz there. (This game and these teams may have been selected before the Nets traded China’s Yi Jianlian to the Wizards this summer.)

The Nets are really going to get some passport stamps this season. China in October then in March they will play two regular-season games in London.

Stephen Curry gets four-point play after Klay Thompson foul, Curry does some taunting

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Stephen Curry is enjoying going against Klay Thompson. Maybe a little too much.

In the first half, Curry was matched up on his Warriors’ backcourt mate and enjoyed that Thompson missed the shot.

Then in the fourth quarter, with the game tight, Curry drained the contested three and drew the and-1 on Thompson — and did a little taunting.

That’s some All-Star fun.

Stephen Curry bounces alley-oop way above rim, Giannis Antetokounmpo slams it down (video)

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CHARLOTTE – Stephen Curry bounced this so high!

I suppose it helps that Giannis Antetokounmpo has such ridiculous reach.

Dirk Nowitzki walks on All-Star court, quickly splashes three threes

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Maybe Dirk Nowitzki shouldn’t retire after this season.

Added to the All-Star Game by Commissioner Adam Silver (along with Dwyane Wade) in what is expected to be the final season for the future Hall of Famer, the greatest shooting big man of all time showed he still has the touch. Entering the game midway through the first quarter, Nowitzki proceeded to quickly splash a couple of threes.

And he was not done yet.

Nowitzki never officially said he was retiring….

Giannis Antetokounmpo throws himself alley-oop on free throw… that obviously doesn’t count (video)

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CHARLOTTE – It’s an All-Star game, but you still can’t do that. A free throw that doesn’t hit rim is a violation, and Giannis Antetokounmpo clearly crossed the line early, too:

He was clearly going for levity, and at least he accomplished that.