A Slam Dunk for the NBA in China

Along with eager sponsors and partners, the league looks to capitalize further on its mainland popularity with a recent exhibition tour and other initiatives
A security guard stands watch in front of a billboard of Nike billboard depicting NBA star LeBron James on the Wangfujing shopping street in Beijing, China, on November 12, 2005. Photographer: Natalie Behring/Bloomberg News Bloomberg

It's 9 p.m. on a Wednesday night and the sellout crowd of 13,700 at the Qizhong Sports Arena on the outskirts of Shanghai is pumped. Fans, including some rigged out with fluorescent Afro wigs and face paint, clap their hands in time with the theme song from the television program The Addams Family. Others stand up in their seats while friends snap their photos with camera phones.

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