Sources: Lakers, Nets to play China preseason games

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Sunday, January 6, 2019

The Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets will travel to China later this year for games before the start of the 2019-20 season, multiple sources told ESPN's Michael Yuan.

The teams will play in Shanghai on Oct. 10 and will meet in Shenzhen on Oct. 12, continuing the trend of NBA squads competing in China. Last year, the Dallas Mavericks and Philadelphia 76ers traveled to the country in October for two preseason games.

Joe Tsai, a founder of Alibaba Group who also owns 49 percent of the Nets, was named to the NBA China board of directors in October.

Since 2004, 17 NBA teams have played 26 games in the Chinese cities of Beijing, Guangzhou, Macao, Shanghai and Shenzhen and in Taipei, Taiwan.

With the Lakers going, it will be the third time LeBron James has played in China; he was there in 2007 with the Cleveland Cavaliers and in 2013 with the Miami Heat.

James' teammate Lance Stephenson has already played three times in China, representing the Indiana Pacers, LA Clippers and New Orleans Pelicans. If he remains with the Lakers next season, Stephenson would have the most games logged in China by any NBA player.