The Wizards will play two preseason games in Japan in 2022.?
Sports and entertainment of historic proportions. “We are especially looking forward to seeing Rui Hachimura perform in front of his fellow Japanese residents. We were thrilled to welcome him into the DC Family as a dynamic young prospect over three years ago, and we’ve only watched him improve as a player since then. And our fans in our home market of Washington, D.C. have a unique bond with the Japanese people, as seen by our yearly commemoration of the Mayor of Tokyo’s gift of cherry trees to our city over a century ago. Celebrating both American and Japanese cultures deepens our relationships, therefore we’re excited to face the Golden State Warriors and gain new followers for the sport we all love.”
The NBA Japan Games 2022 Presented by Rakuten will be held at Saitama Super Arena outside of Tokyo on Friday, Sept. 30 and Sunday, Oct. 2. It will be the Wizards’ first trip to Japan and the league’s 15th and 16th games in the nation.
“I’m ecstatic to bring Wizards basketball to Japan,” Hachimura stated. “I can’t wait to see the stadium packed with NBA fans watching the game in person.”
The team’s extensive worldwide outreach efforts and history, as well as details about the NBA Japan Games 2022, are detailed here.
GLOBAL DIGITAL EFFORTS OF WIZARDS?
The Wizards have three more worldwide internet platforms in Japanese, Chinese, and Hebrew, in addition to their local social media presence. JAPAN: The team’s Japanese social media profiles have over 100K followers and have reached 405 million impressions, 61 million video views, and 30 million Twitter conversations in only two years. CHINA: The team’s Weibo account has 2.5 million followers and has continued to grow its content strategy, linking players and Chinese fans more than in any previous season. ISRAEL: The club’s Israeli social media channels, which include the first-ever NBA franchise Israeli Twitter account, have approximately 25K followers, with engagement metrics skyrocketing lately as Deni Avdija’s career progresses.
The Wizards’ podcast presence, which includes the Wizards Worldwide Podcast and The Wizraeli Podcast, has a global reach. The Wizards were the first NBA club to offer team podcasts in various languages at the time of their debut.
The Warriors will play two preseason games in Japan in 2022.?
The Golden State Warriors will face the Washington Wizards in two preseason games in Japan in 2022 as part of the NBA Japan Games 2022. The league announced today that it would be sponsored by Rakuten. The Warriors and Wizards will meet at Saitama Super Arena on Friday, Sept. 30 and Sunday, Oct. 2, marking both teams’ first visits to Japan and the 15th and 16th NBA games in the nation, respectively.
Warriors President and Chief Operating Officer Brandon Schneider remarked, “We are pleased to kick off the 2022-23 NBA season in Japan.” “We’ve built many deep, significant connections in Japan over the course of our four-plus-year cooperation with Rakuten. Participating in the 2019 NBA Japan Games offers us tremendous hope for the game’s future expansion throughout the globe, as well as the chance to bring people together through a common passion of basketball.”
The 2022 NBA Japan Games Presented by Rakuten will be Golden State’s ninth and tenth games played outside of North America, with Japan being the sixth nation to host a Warriors game outside of the United States (Canada, China, France, Japan, Mexico, Spain). In 2017, the Warriors played two preseason games in Shenzhen and Shanghai as part of the NBA Global Games in China.
Basketball Enthusiasm in Japan?
The NBA announced on Tuesday, March 15 that the Golden State Warriors and Washington Wizards will play a pair of preseason games in Japan before the 2022-23 season.
The Warriors, led by two-time MVP Stephen Curry, and the Wizards, led by Rui Hachimura, will face off at Saitama Super Arena on September 30 and October 2.
The announcement was made by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, Rakuten Group, Inc. Chairman and CEO Mickey Mikitani, and NBA Asia managing director Scott Levy. Mikitani held a press conference in Tokyo, and NBA officials attended via live video conference.
“We’re thrilled to provide preseason games to our Japanese fans one more,” Silver stated. “There is a lot of excitement in the nation about NBA basketball, and we appreciate Mickey and Rakuten’s continuous efforts to help the sport flourish.”
The news was released before the Warriors’ game against the Wizards on Monday night (California time). Golden State won by a score of 118-111. Curry scored 47 points to lead all scorers. Hachimura scored a game-high 12 points.
“As a member of the Washington Wizards, I’m really excited to play in Japan,” Hachimura said. “I’ll keep working hard to bring Japanese basketball back to life.”
The NBA’s intentions to resume overseas travel, Silver said, are “a indication that we are moving back to a more regular way of life,” citing travel limitations imposed by the worldwide epidemic.
He went on to say that bringing the NBA “back to other continents” is “very promising.” ?
The NBA Japan Games 2022 will be the first time that basketball fans in Japan will get the chance to witness Wizards forward Rui Hachimura play in an NBA game in his native country.
“I know it will mean the world to him to be able to play in his home country as an NBA player,” said the commissioner.
In the second half of the game on March 14, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry scores against Washington Wizards forward Deni Avdija. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Basketball fanaticism in Japan ?
Curry shared his excitement at the possibility to play in Japan in a video message.
Stephen Curry, the future Hall of Famer, remarked, “Konnichi wa. Stephen Curry here.” “I’m ecstatic about the chance to return to Japan and compete in the NBA Global Games.” I’ve participated in the NBA Global Games twice before, and this will be my third, so I’m looking forward to expanding my horizons and learning more about international basketball, particularly how much basketball is loved and cherished in Japan.”
Curry characterized Hachimura as “an excellent young athlete in this league who is destined for tremendous things,” based on his two prior summer travels to Japan.
Curry led the NBA in scoring in 2020-21. (32.0 points per game). During the press conference, Washington’s Bradley Beal (31.3) and Latvian teammate Kristaps Porzingis appeared in video messages. “As an international player, I like seeing the game develop across the world, and I’m looking forward to our NBA Japan [Games] later this year.”
Mikitani dubbed the match a “dream match” because of the popularity of both teams in Japan.
Levy agreed, calling it a chance for Japanese fans to “watch a spectacular clash between the Warriors and the Wizards in an event that promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime event for Japanese basketball.”
Will this be the Warriors’ and Wizards’ first trip to Japan?
Since 2017, the Warriors, one of the most popular NBA teams worldwide, have worn a Rakuten sponsorship patch on their jerseys. In the same year, Rakuten joined the league as a worldwide marketing partner.
The 2018 champion Toronto Raptors and the Houston Rockets played a pair of games at Saitama Super Arena in October 2019, the NBA’s last games in Japan.
“We are ecstatic that the NBA has chosen the Warriors and Wizards, two clubs with long histories in our league, to kick off the 2022 NBA preseason in Japan, home to some of the most fervent NBA fans in the world,” Lacob said. From 2015 to 2019, his club reached the NBA Finals five times in a row, winning three times.
“We’ve had the pleasure of building many impactful relationships throughout Japan during our four-plus year partnership with Rakuten,” Lacob said, adding that “some of our players, including Stephen Curry, have thoroughly enjoyed recent visits to Tokyo and the interactions they’ve shared with basketball fans who love the game.”
“During the Japan Games, this unique link with both our partners and our fans will continue to deepen, and we couldn’t be more delighted and proud to experience the amazing Japanese culture as a group,” Lacob concluded. This game actually brings us all together from across the world.”
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