The NBA is very much a global sport, and international fans will soon be able to see two popular teams up close. Back in March, the league announced the NBA Japan Games 2022 and that they’d play two preseason games there. The goal for the league is to continue to expand the game beyond the United States, something that other American sports haven’t done nearly as well, whereas the NBA has thrived.
Who will be playing in Japan for the NBA Global Games 2022?
The defending champion Golden State Warriors will face off against the Washington Wizards in two preseason games. The Warriors haven’t taken the court against another team since beating the Boston Celtics in the Finals back in June.
That gives fans in Japan the first opportunity to see them as they begin their quest for yet another championship. It also gives them a chance to see the Wizards, who have some exciting young players in addition to one of the top scorers in the league.
Where in Japan will the Warriors and Wizards be playing?
The two exhibition games will be played at Saitama Super Arena in the city of Saitama. The city of Saitama is within an hour of Tokyo, the largest city in the world, giving more fans easy access to the games. Additionally, the arena can hold at least 22,000 fans, more than the average NBA arena.
Why did the NBA choose to play in Japan?
The NBA has historically used the preseason to schedule games in different countries to ensure that fans around the world will have a chance to enjoy a game. They previously held preseason games in Japan back in 2019 but were unable to return until now.
With the success of the previous set of games, returning to Japan was inevitable, especially since there’s a rapidly growing fanbase there. Moreover, the Warriors are sponsored by Rakuten, which is a Tokyo-based company, while Rui Hachimura of the Wizards is Japanese, further adding to the local interest in the games.
What dates and times are the NBA Japan Games 2022?
The first game between the Warriors and the Wizards will take place on September 30th, 2022 at 6:00 pm Eastern on NBA TV. The second exhibition game will take place on October 2nd, 2022 at 1:00 am Eastern on NBA TV. With two games, it gives more fans the chance to see a game in person as well as watch it on TV.
Overall, the two exhibition games will feature several All-Stars, including Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, and Bradley Beal. Their inclusion will make both games must-watches for fans around the world.