The Golden State Warriors and Washington Wizards met last night with the Dubs coming out on top, and they’ll be again in the 2022 preseason.
One of the many differences between the two games is that the one next season will be played in Japan. This is a good step for the league as it’s a move back to normalcy following the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Stephen Curry-led Golden State Warriors will head to Japan for a preseason battle with the Washington Wizards next season.
This will be the league’s first out-of-country game since 2019 when the Bucks and Hornets played in Paris.
That said, this makes a ton of sense for two reasons.
As of now, the Wizards have forward Rui Hachimura on the roster. Hachimura seems to be a long-term part of their franchise, so there’s no reason to think the Japanese-born 24-year-old won’t be returning home for this matchup.
Hachimura was born in Toyama, Japan, and went to high school there as well. He came to the United States for college, playing at Gonzaga. Hachimura was the 9th pick of the 2019 NBA Draft and has spent at 3 seasons with the Wizards.
For the Warriors, they’ll have two-time MVP, Stephen Curry, on their side. A global icon, Curry has a large presence in southeast Asia.
He’s one of the most popular NBA players on the planet and should help command a crowd. His shooting has transformed the NBA and has helped advance the presence of the league all around the world.
Five-time All-Star guard Klay Thompson also seems to have a solid overseas presence.
Combine that with the Golden State Warriors franchise, which received major attention for its five straight NBA Finals run from 2015-2019, and this seems to be the perfect matchup for the league to expand its audience.
“Having our teams resume international travel is a sign that we’re getting back to a more normal way of life,” NBA Commissioner AdamSilver said via the Associated Press.
The Warriors will hopefully be even more popular for this game as they hope to make a deep NBA postseason run in the near future. The pieces are there, and I’m sure the league wouldn’t mind the Warriors on the highest stage the league has to offer this season.