Published: Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 22:10
From Beijing to Istabunl, NBA clubs and stars began their training to prepare for the upcoming 2012-2013 season. After a flurry of off-season activity and new faces in new places, the Association appears headed for one of its most exciting years in memory.
While the reigning champin Miami Heat will begin their title defense at home on October 30th, their preseason will include games will begin far from South Beach. After a Sunday night match with Atlanta, LeBron James and co. will take their talents to Beijing and Shanghai, China for a pair of contest with the Clippers. Playing overseas however will be nothing new for last year’s MVP, who took home a gold medal in this Summer Olympics.
The Heat’s opening night opponent, the Boston Celtics, will also make an international splash before their regular season tips off. Friday night the C’s open exhibition play against Fenerbahce Ulker, a Turkish club out of the country’s capital, Istanbul. The 17-time NBA champions then wrap up their European travels by paying a visit to 25-time Italian League victors, EA7 Emporio Armani. The foes will tip Sunday before Boston returns home for six games against Philadeliphia, New York and Brooklyn.
On the opposite coast, the Los Angeles Lakers will stay on U.S. soil for all preseason play. The Western Conference semifinalists fashioned themselves an off-season makeover of Hollywood proportions, landing NBA all-stars Steve Nash and Dwight Howard. Howard is still recovering from back surgery but did participate in the team’s first practice yesterday. He has been ruled out of the team’s exhibition opener Friday against Golden State, but is hopeful to make the regular season opener against Dallas.