Sports |  Basketball

NBA adds Chinese elements to games during holiday

By Ni Yinbin  |   2012-1-19  |     ONLINE EDITION

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THE NBA said it will host its first Chinese New Year Celebration from January 21-28. The week-long event will pay tribute to the league's Chinese fan base with live games, customized coverage and a variety of NBA-themed events in China and the US.

The NBA, with the support of its television and digital partners in China, will celebrate the Year of the Dragon with customized coverage of 21 games across CCTV 5, BTV, GDTV, GZTV, NowTV, NBA TV, Sina and Tencent.

During the holiday, Chinese fans will be able to watch top NBA teams, including the 2010-11 NBA champion Dallas Mavericks, featuring Chinese player Yi Jianlian, as well as the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls and Oklahoma Thunder.

Throughout the week, Washington Wizards and Golden State Warriors will host in-arena celebrations on January 23 and January 28 respectively. Fans in attendance will experience a variety of elements and activities that pay tribute to Chinese culture. In addition, the players will wear specially designed Chinese New Year shooting shirts.

Fans in China will be able to vote for the most valuable player of all games broadcast on Sina and Tencent on the official NBA microblogs on Sina, Tencent and Tencent Q zone.

"Chinese New Year is a fun time of the year and we wanted to join in the festivities and show appreciation to our fans," said NBA President of International Heidi Ueberroth. "With the help of our great partners, we will celebrate the Year of the Dragon with exciting matchups, customized content, and a variety of Chinese New Year-themed fan activities in China and the US."

"We are pleased to provide our viewers with a special week of NBA games as they enjoy the Spring Festival holidays with their families," said Jiang Heping, head of CCTV 5 Sports Channel.

There will be special programming, features and player greetings throughout the week on NBA TV,, and NBA Zhizao, an NBA lifestyle program that airs throughout China.

To tip off the 21-game schedule, CCTV 5 will televise the January 21 game between the Minnesota Timberwolves, led by Kevin Love and rookie Ricky Rubio, and the Los Angeles Clippers featuring the 2010-11 NBA Rookie of the Year Blake Griffin and All-Star guard Chris Paul.

To wrap up the festivities, the league will host a fan viewing party in Beijing on January 28.

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