Rockets and Warriors to play game in honor of Chinese new year
Updated: 2012-12-05 02:46
By Tang Zhe in Chengdu (China Daily)
The NBA will continue its celebration of Chinese New Year with a celebratory game on Feb 13, the fourth day of the Year of the Snake.
The game will feature the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets — who feature Chinese-American point-guard Jeremy Lin — at the Oracle Arena in Oakland.
The celebration will be enhanced by a variety of traditional Chinese elements, including Chinese red lanterns, Spring Festival couplets and the posting of traditional Chinese pictures that symbolize happiness and luck at the venue.
Apart from watching the event on TV or online, Chinese fans have also been invited to take part in the experience of watching the game in an ice bar with the temperature expected to be -35 C during the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in the northeastern city, which is organized by the New Year game's sponsor Harbin Beer.
"The Chinese New Year is becoming increasingly popular around the world and, as the marketing partner of NBA China, we will combine the NBA and the culture of Chinese New Year together to present an NBA celebration game full of the atmosphere of the traditional Chinese festival," said Michel Doukeris, president of ABInBev Asia-Pacific.
Shaquille O'Neal, the ambassador for Harbin Beer, took part in a traditional lion dance, lit a Chinese lantern and presented a folk performance at the launch ceremony for the game in Chengdu on Monday.
"I am a fan of Chinese culture, and Chinese New Year is one of my favorite festivals," O'Neal said. "I believe fans from all over the world will be cheering for the Chinese festival during the celebration."
O'Neal also praised Lin and his new Houston teammate, James Harden. "Jeremy Lin is a fabulous player, also James Harden, he is a flashy player," he said. "Though they are not going to compete for the championship, they are a good and exciting team."