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June 27, 2017

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Lin, Rockets may visit Taiwan for an exhibition match this Oct.: report

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The National Basketball Association may hold a preseason exhibition game in Taiwan this October, featuring Jeremy Lin's Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Clippers, a local newspaper said yesterday.

Sources said the NBA Taiwan game is part of the American hoop league's larger plan to hold a series of preseason matchups in Asia that will also include China and Philippines, two other countries that are the strongest supporters for the league, the Chinese-language United Evening News said.

The Taiwan game is scheduled to feature Lin, the first ever Taiwanese-American NBA player and the Rockets.

The Rocket's rival team for the game has not yet been finalized but the widely popular Clippers that feature two rising stars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin is a very likely choice, more than one source told the newspaper.

The Taiwan game proposal will be finalized soon, since the deal is now sitting at a desk in the NBA's New York office, waiting to be signed, the paper said.

Also, the NBA China excursion is expected to feature four games at four different Chinese cities this year: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hangzhou, the report said.

Another team in Los Angeles, the Lakers, loaded with mega stars Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, will be joining the NBA China games, it added.

NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver will be visiting China and India next month to finalize the deals on NBA China and Taiwan games, it noted.

The news, however, has not been confirmed by the NBA.

Once realized, this will be the second time in history for the highest-level basketball league in the world to hold a pre-season exhibition game in Taiwan.

On Oct. 8, 2009, the NBA played its first-ever game in Taipei when the Denver Nuggets and Indiana Pacers tipped off at the Taipei Arena.

The 2009 game featured Carmelo Anthony who was then with the Nuggets and Danny Granger of the Pacers, attracting around 15,000 at the Taipei Arena.

The game reportedly saw one of the largest crowds ever to witness a single basketball game in the island nation.

Prior to that, in August 2008, former NBA champions Scottie Pippen, Clyde Drexler, Glen Rice and B.J. Armstrong teamed up with players from Taiwan's Super Basketball League to play two exhibition games as part of the NBA Legends Challenge.

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