In a move likely aimed at the overseas Chinese market, but which could be a hit with Chinese Americans as well, two NBA teams have announced they will wear special Chinese New Year jerseys at select upcoming games.
The teams are the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets. The teams are obvious choices with the large Chinese American population in the San Francisco Bay Area and Houston’s connection to China with Yao Ming and Jeremy Lin.
The jerseys are already available for fans to pre-order.
The Washington Post quoted Yao Ming from the Rockets website.
“It brings great joy to me to see the Houston Rockets honor one of my country’s most important traditions,” said Yao. “Mr. (Leslie) Alexander (Rocket’s owner) and the Rockets have long embraced our culture and customs and made basketball fans in China a part of the Rockets community.”
The Warriors unveiled their special uniform at the Betty Ong Recreation Center in Chinatown with the help of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Rick Quan, longtime Bay Area sportscaster now with KGO-TV/ABC7.
Three other teams will have special giveaways and performances before games and at halftime to mark the Lunar New Year. They are the Washington Wizards, Sacramento Kings, and Toronto Raptors. The Warriors and the Rockets will also participate in that promotion.
This Chinese New Year which begins on February 19 will be the Year of the Goat.