The NBA has announced that the Toronto Raptors and Houston Rockets will play two preseason games in Japan. The games will take place at the Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo on October 8th and 10th.
“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,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.
The preseason games will take place about nine months before the start of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. There are pro leagues in Japan, and the nation will appear in the FIBA World Cup in China this summer.
“You have only to look at our organization to know that we truly believe basketball is a global game,” Raptors President Masai Ujiri said. “We come from all over the world, and we are all connected through the love of our sport. We are looking forward to sharing that with basketball fans in Japan.”
The NBA also has preseason games planned for India and China next season. Indiana and Sacramento will play in India, the NBA’s first-ever games there. Brooklyn and the Los Angeles Lakers will play in China.