New York (AFP) - Two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry-powered Golden State will travel to China for two pre-season games against the Minnesota Timberwolves next October, the league announced Monday.
The Warriors, making their third trip to China after visits in 2008 and 2013, will face Minnesota on October 5 at Shenzhen's Universiade Center and again three days later at Shanghai's Mercedes-Benz Arena.
"I've visited China every year since 2013 and the fans there are incredibly supportive of me, the Warriors and the NBA," Curry said. "I'm excited about the opportunity to return to China, enjoy the country's culture and bring the excitement of live NBA games directly to Chinese fans."
The NBA Global Games China 2017 matchups will mark Minnesota's first visit to China. In all, 14 NBA teams will have played 24 games in China and Taiwan after the latest contests.
"It's a great privilege for me and my teammates to play in China for the first time in our franchise's history," said T-Wolves forward Karl-Anthony Towns. "When I visited last summer, I was amazed at the passion that Chinese fans have for the game of basketball. Traveling to China with my teammates and coaches will be a fantastic experience."
Fans will be able to take part in on-court games and watch the Warriors and Timberwolves practice on October 7 in Shanghai. There will also be community events involving the teams.
"We're committed to bringing live NBA games to our passionate and growing fanbase in China," NBA commissioner Adam Silver said. "Beyond the action on the court, these visits allow teams and players to experience a different culture and bond with one another through community service, fan events and involvement in the local community."
The Warriors, who won the 2015 NBA crown and lost last year's best-of-seven NBA Finals to Cleveland in a seventh-game thriller, boast 3-point sharpshooter Curry, 2014 NBA Most Valuable Player Kevin Durant and fellow NBA All-Stars Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.
The Timberwolves feature the past two NBA Rookie of the Year award winners, Dominican-American Towns and Canada's Andrew Wiggins, plus two-time NBA Slam Dunk Contest winner Zach LaVine.
"We're proud that following these games, nearly half of the league will have played in front of Chinese fans," said NBA China chief executive David Shoemaker. "The popularity of the NBA in China is at an all-time high and the Warriors and Timberwolves will see that excitement firsthand."