Houston Rockets & Toronto Raptors To Play Two Preseason Games In Japan

Toronto Raptors

Toronto Raptors

The NBA announced Monday night that the Raptors and Rockets will play on October 8 and October 10 at the Saitama Super Arena.

Toronto and Houston will play a pair of preseason games in Japan next season.

No stranger to staging games overseas, the National Basketball Association played 12 regular season games in Japan between 1990 and 2003, most recently featuring two contests between the Los Angeles Clippers and Seattle SuperSonics in Saitama Super Arena in 2003. The NBA in association with Rakuten Inc. announced the exciting news on Monday. Instead, made his statements live via a video conference.

"Bringing NBA preseason games to Japan will help accelerate the growth of basketball in a country that features a thriving sports culture and one of the world's largest economies", said NBA commissioner Adam Silver in a media release. The games will landmark the NBA's 14th and 15th official games in Japan.

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"Our organization has a great appreciation for our global fan base, and we enthusiastically embrace the NBA's efforts to grow the game internationally", Rockets CEO Tad Brown said.

The Rockets, who previously visited Japan in 1992 when they played two regular-season games, now feature reigning NBA Most Valuable Player James Harden and nine-times All-Star Chris Paul on their roster.

Toronto's recent lineup changes are sure to make it an exciting match for Japanese fans. The league first played in the Land of the Rising Sun in 1980. The organization now offers exclusive access to the National Basketball Association through a subscription service which has helped further popularize the sport in Japan. The franchise already played two regular season games there back in 1992. Meanwhile, this is going to be the first time for the Raptors.

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