Tuesday, September 23, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Spurs-Heat finals matchup has international appeal

By
From page B2 | June 14, 2014 |

MIAMI — An hour before Game 4 of the NBA Finals, LeBron James was talking about the World Cup.

A couple of Brazilian journalists nodded excitedly as he spoke, perhaps in part because soccer’s signature event is being hosted in their futbol-mad country. Chinese journalists were there as well, logging every word that James was saying because of his enormous following in their homeland. So were French, Italian, Filipino and German reporters, among others.

“The world,” Heat forward Shane Battier said, “is getting smaller every day.”

And that’s plenty evident at these NBA Finals, which are perhaps more global than ever before.

This Miami-San Antonio series is being aired live in 215 countries and territories, talked about in 47 languages, and has attracted social media attention from literally all corners of the globe through the NBA’s Facebook and Twitter portals alone. The Spurs have nine international players and the Heat have a huge international following because of stars like James and Dwyane Wade, along with the fact that coach Erik Spoelstra is Filipino-American.

Soccer is clearly a global game, which has been obvious forever.

Basketball can say the same, and that’s been clear for a long time.

“Now you’re on TV every night no matter where you play, the coverage through the playoffs and through the finals,” Spurs star Tim Duncan said. “You go anywhere in this world and you have fans everywhere. Fans of the NBA, fans of individual players, and obviously a lot of us travel in the offseason, and no matter where you go, you can’t get away from it. So you can feel how far spreading it is, and it’s great for the game. It’s great for the NBA.”

International growth been a key part of the NBA’s business model for years, so much so that former commissioner David Stern often and famously said that the league would have teams in Europe within a decade. There’s an international broadcasting compound at the finals now, and the series’ courtside logos and signage is being shown in eight languages — Chinese, French, Hindi, Japanese, Portugese, Spanish, and Turkish.

Oh, and English.

“This game has fans around the world now,” said James, whose arrivals in China for his summer visit to promote some of his many sponsors have drawn enormous crowds of screaming fans. “And that’s very important to me. That’s very important to this league. That’s very important to all of us.”

Wade, Battier and Tony Parker all have shoe deals with big Chinese companies, Wade with Li-Ning and Battier and Parker with Peak. It’s not uncommon to see those shoe companies have ad signage in Miami’s arena, and the Heat not long ago also had a prominent sponsor agreement with a Chinese beer company. The NBA has research showing that 300 million people play basketball in China — which equates to roughly the entire population of the United States.

Parker, a Belgian-born guard who plays for France and had a big international following even before signing with Peak last year, toured China — home of the world’s second-largest economy, behind only the United States — last summer.

“I love traveling and going to China was an unbelievable experience,” Parker said. “It was my third time. Brought my whole family. It was the first time for them. So we just had a great memories and great experience, and they really took care of me. It’s just great to see another side of the world and interact with your fans. Just had a great time.”

Battier went to China once, a few years ago, on vacation. He figured he’d never have any other reason to go there.

He’s been 10 times since. All have been for work.

Battier was skeptical when Peak approached him at first and questioned if the shoes would even be of NBA-quality, but said the deal has been extremely beneficial and satisfying for him. And while this is his final season, he’s long predicted that there will be an NBA team in China or another faraway place in the future.

“International growth and expansion is the obvious outlet for our game,” Battier said. “I think that domestically, we’ve tapped pretty much every pigeonhole and foxhole we can find. Because the game is so popular globally, it’s only a matter of time before we take our game in person to our fans around the world. The logistics argument is always the argument that detractors want to bring up, but it’s inevitable.”

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

US / World

California wildfire crews brace for weather shift

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
LA County sheriff’s deputies testing body cameras

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Bear suspected to have killed New Jersey hiker

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Poll: Support for gay marriage may be leveling off

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Islamic State militants kill 40 Iraqi troops

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Sierra Leone, Liberia brace for new Ebola cases

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Islamist group kidnaps Frenchman in Algeria

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 3 Comments | Gallery

Pennsylvania governor confident ambush suspect will be caught

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Focus on UVa employee in student’s disappearance

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Prosecutor: 800 rounds found in intruder case

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment | Gallery

Islamic State offensive poses problems for Turkey

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Study links changing winds to warming in Pacific

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Crews work to clear debris from Shasta mudslide

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
.

Opinion

Editorial cartoon for Sept. 23, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page:

 
Academia needs to act to protect college women

By Dan K. Thomasson | From Page:

 
.

Living

Today in History: Sept. 23, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Community Calendar: Sept. 23, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page:

 
Horoscopes: Sept. 23, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

Kris Jenner files to divorce Bruce Jenner

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Alaska TV reporter quits on air to promote pot

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Shonda Rhimes lays claim to Thursday nights on ABC

By Frazier Moore | From Page: | Gallery

 
Giuliani to help fight Noriega’s video game suit

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

‘The Lion King’ earns record box office

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Eric Lynch, Howard Stern’s diminutive foil, dies

By The Associated Press | From Page:

TVGrid Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
.

Sports

Giants get closer, beat Dodgers 5-2 in 13 innings

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Prep boys water polo: Mustangs go 3-0 in Dixon tourney

By Daily Republic staff | From Page:

 
Prep boys soccer: Mustangs hold Indians to 0-0 draw

By Daily Republic staff | From Page:

 
MNF: Bears hold on to beat Jets 27-19

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Jeff Samardzija pitches A’s past Angels 8-4

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Nebraska’s Abdullah: Jameis Winston must grow up

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Raiders have to settle for moral victory

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Home of 49ers lineman Ray McDonald burglarized

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment

Undisciplined play sends 49ers to 1-2 start

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Kicking game: It is called football, after all

By Barry Wilner | From Page:

US Soccer stands by Solo decision

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
FIFA ethics judge hesitates on World Cup

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Braves fire GM Frank Wren after missing playoffs

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Royals beat Indians 2-0, gain on Tigers

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Bettman says NHL proactive about off-ice conduct

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Silver: NBA will review domestic violence policies

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Concern over McIlroy, McDowell more about results

By The Associated Press | From Page:

NFL vetting process: There are no sure things

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Owner: ‘No misinformation’ by Ravens on Rice

By The Associated Press | From Page:

This date in sports history for Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Kent creates scholarship for Cal women’s athletics

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
.

Business

Treasury to unveil steps to curb tax inversions

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Tesco suspends execs over inflated profit report

By The Associated Press | From Page:

GM expert says 21 deaths eligible for compensation

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Apple: 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sold

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment

US existing home sales fall in August

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Investors fret Yahoo’s future, stock dips

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Businesses and investors pressing for green policy

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Garfield Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Dilbert Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baby Blues Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Cryptoquote Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Beetle Bailey Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Zits Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Crossword Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Bridge Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Word Sleuth Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Frank and Ernest Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Pickles Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

For Better or Worse Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Rose is Rose Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sally Forth Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Get Fuzzy Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sudoku Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
B.C. Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard of Id Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Blondie Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Peanuts Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6