Report: NBA to play preseason games in Japan, India next season

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A lot of NBA owners like the idea of sending their team to China for one of the NBA’s preseason exhibition games — it’s a massive market and if a team can make inroads there it helps with jersey sales and more. That is, the owners like it until they do it once. Teams come back from that trip with a jet lag hangover that can last into the season — no team will complain about it publicly, that’s bad PR, but just ask the Warriors players privately how happy they were not to go this season.

Next season, it won’t just be China, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN.

The India trip has been rumored for a while, and the Kings — owned by Indian-American businessman Vivek Ranadive — are an obvious choice.

Going to Japan makes business sense as well — the NBA is a global brand. Basketball is arguably the world’s second most popular sport (or at least in the top few, depending on what factors you use to determine popularity) and the NBA is the highest level of play in the sport. The NBA has worked hard to position itself as the premier league on the planet — and the owners like raking in that global money.

The cost is games around the globe sometimes. Like Japan and India next preseason, two big markets the NBA is working hard to tap.