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NBA GLOBAL GAMES MEDIA CONFERENCE


October 12, 2014


Irina Pavlova

Vivek Ranadive

Adam Silver


THE MODERATOR:   Welcome to the NBA Global Games Shanghai press conference.  It is a great honor for me to introduce our three special guests on stage here to talk about the NBA Global Games which bring us the authentic NBA experience in China.
Please join me in welcoming NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, and helping the Nets; the president of Onexim Sports and Entertainment Arena, Irina Pavlova; and Sacramento Kings owner, Vivek Ranadivé.
Now please allow me to call upon Commissioner Adam Silver to say a few words to share his thoughts with us.
COMMISSIONER SILVER:  Thank you very much and good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to the tenth anniversary of the NBA Global Games China.
We have an exciting matchup today featuring the Brooklyn Nets and the Sacramento Kings, and I'm honored to be joined on stage with representatives of both teams.
It so happens that my colleague on my right was born in Russia and my colleague on my left was born in India, which demonstrates just how global this game has become.
There are a few of our partners that I would like to thank today.  First of all, ZTE Mobile and I want to thank them for sponsoring these games.  I would also like to thank Adidas, Clear, Delta Air Lines, Harbin Beer, Manu, SAP, Sprite, Continental Tires, Delta Air Lines, Greenland Forest City Partners and SOR Culture and Communication (ph).
These are the NBA's 17th and 18th games in China and we couldn't be more happy to be here.  In the ten years since we first played a game in Shanghai, we've seen enormous growth of the game of basketball here in China.
Today the Chinese Basketball Association estimates that more than 300 million people play basketball in China, which of course is the entire size of the United States' population.
We are very excited about this afternoon's matchup between the Nets and the Kings and I want to thank you once again for the wonderful hospitality in Shanghai.
And now a few words from the chairman and principle owner of the Sacramento Kings, Vivek Ranadivé.
VIVEK RANADIV√Č:¬† Thank you, Adam, thank you, Commissioner Silver for inviting us to Shanghai.¬† Thank you, Irina, for agreeing to play us in Shanghai.¬† I will also thank Irina in advance in case she let's us win the game (laughter).
I would also like to thank Madame Zhou for hosting the NBA in the great City of Shanghai.  I know that the highest confusion value is that of benevolence, and I would like to say to the City of Shanghai and to Madame Zhou, that you have shown us benevolence and abundance.
We saw it from the time that we arrived at the airport to the hotel to the facility to the people on the streets; it's a huge privilege and a huge honor to be treated to this benevolence.
We also had an opportunity yesterday to visit a school for the kids of migrant workers.  This further shows how sport can unite and how sport can do good in the community.  Thank you again, Shanghai, for giving us this opportunity.
So as we play the game and head out of the city, I want to thank you for hosting us and hopefully we will have the opportunity to come here very soon in the near future.  Thank you.
THE MODERATOR:  I'm sure you'd like to share some thoughts with us, as well, please.
IRINA PAVLOVA:  After that, I have to (laughs).  Hello, on behalf of the Brooklyn Nets and the principle owner of the team, Mikhail Prokhorov I just want to say how excited we are to be back in China.
We are very excited to be part of the NBA Global Games.  It is our second visit to China, and we are very grateful to the Chinese people for welcoming us back to their country and showing us amazing hospitality.  It really feels wonderful to be back.
Our fans back home in Brooklyn come from many different countries and speak many different languages, so it's especially important for us to be able to travel and build a fan base around the world, and especially in China.
We were in China in 2010, and I have to say the Chinese fans are probably the most loyal and the most passionate fans in the world.  We are very honored to play in front of them and we look forward to a very loud and exciting game today, and a lot of chanting for Brooklyn.  Thank you so much.  Thank you.

Q.¬† The first question is for Mr.Adam Silver.¬† Since the first NBA China game, it was 2004.¬† Since now it was‑‑ it has been ten years.¬† So my question:¬† How do you think that the growth of popularity of NBA Chinese fans?
COMMISSIONER SILVER:  The growth of the NBA over the last decade has exceeded our expectations.  It's been remarkable over the past ten years how knowledgeable the Chinese fans have become about the NBA, and not just its superstars, but every roster from player one to player 15.
I think the biggest change over the last decade has been the explosion of interest on social media, which allows fans here in China to follow the NBA as if they lived in the same city as the NBA team.

Q.  The second question is for Mr.Vivek.  As we all know DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay, they helped the American Dream Team this summer get the Gold Medal in Spain, so how do you think that in the coming season, the two guys will lead the Kings to rebuild the team?
VIVEK RANADIV√Č:¬† It was a special privilege and honor to have two players on the national team.¬† And I know that they both come back having learned a lot from that experience, playing with some great coaches, being surrounded by the best players in the world and competing at the very highest levels of the game.
They also came back with a much greater appreciation for the global nature of basketball.  Now, of course, Rudy Gay was also there four years ago at the World Championships, so this was his second Gold Medal, but for DeMarcus Cousins, it was a new experience and this will help him grow and mature as a player and as a teammate tremendously.
And I know that the coach started practice for when we started the season with, if you won a Gold Medal at the World Championships, you're a starter; everyone else has to try.  So I fully expect it will make us a much better team.

Q.  You guys have the first international majority owner in the NBA.  Are the NBA ready for more international owners, like Shanghai's own Yao Ming?
IRINA PAVLOVA:  Are you sure this is a question for me, not for Commissioner Silver?  (Laughing).
I think absolutely the NBA is ready, and it has been very welcoming to us as the first internationally‑owned team, and I think absolutely they are ready for more international owners.¬† I'm not sure if Yao Ming is ready to step up right now.¬† It would be great to have him at the table.¬† I just hope to never have to sit behind him.

Q.  The Kings set up a Weibo cam, micro cam, and it's very active.  It's attracted a lot of fans.  Is it possible for you to interact with the Chinese fans as an Asian owner?
VIVEK RANADIV√Č:¬† Well, we view the game of basketball ultimately as a social network and as a global social network.
So for us the Chinese fans are an extremely important part of that social network.  So from our perspective, we will invest heavily in making the Kings experience available to the fans in China.
But we also want to be able to learn from those fans, and so we fully expect to get their ideas to crowd source, to get their innovation and to make it part of the Sacramento Kings experience.
Yeah, we believe the Chinese fans are among the smartest, most knowledgeable, most passionate fans in the game, and we would like to make them part of the Kings network.

Q.¬† How important is it for authentic‑‑ how important is it for the NBA to bring the authentic NBA experience for the fans of China?
COMMISSIONER SILVER:  Thank you for the question.  I think it is very important for us to bring the authentic experience of the NBA directly to China.  It's why we play the Global Games here in China and bring the authentic experience with our teams here in Shanghai and Beijing.
But we also realize, over time, the only way we'll ultimately connect directly to the fans of China is through media exposure:  Social media and through traditional television.

Q.  We know the Nets did travel to China four years ago as New Jersey Nets, but it's the first time for the Brooklyn Nets to be in China and we did travel to London last year.  Do you think it's part of your strategy to showcase the team as often as possible to the large majority of international fans?
IRINA PAVLOVA:  Thank you, very good question, absolutely.  It has been our strategy, actually it was our strategy four years ago, as well.
We wanted the Nets to be an international global brand, and China is a very important part of that, being a huge country where basketball is so popular, and any team would be remiss if it didn't focus on its Chinese fans.
So as you said, it is our second trip here.  It is our first trip as the Brooklyn Nets.  We are very excited to work on our global brand, and I think in four years, we have made a lot of progress.
I think, as I said, coming from Brooklyn, which is such a diverse city, such a diverse borough, also having a Russian owner and having several international players on the team, it really makes us aware of what a small world it is.  Basketball really knows no borders and every time there's an opportunity to be part of the NBA Global Games and travel to a different country, the Nets always raise their hand.
So I hope with all of your help, we will be an even stronger Brooklyn Nets brand this year.

Q.¬† I would like to know that NBA has renewed it's contract with Walt Disney and Time‑Warner for 24 billion U.S. dollars, so it's a huge deal, you can say.¬† What do you think makes the NBA so valued today over the past few years?
COMMISSIONER SILVER:  Thank you for your question, and I believe that the reason that these deals have been renewed at such large increases is because the NBA has never been more popular.  And in addition, what these media companies are seeing, and we are experiencing the same growth in China, is that premium sports shown live is one of the most important products on television.

Q.¬† As we know, you are a Tech novel Cal entrepreneur, so you bring technology so sports since you bought the Sacramento Kings.¬† What inspires you to bring these two things together and you have your new arena, very technology‑advanced arena very soon?
VIVEK RANADIV√Č:¬† So even going back to the question that you asked Commissioner Silver, and by the way, thank you for negotiating that contract.¬† But in ten or 20 years, will I still be using this phone?¬† I don't know.¬† But will I be watching NBA basketball?¬† Absolutely.
Using technology is part of the Sacramento Kings NBA 3.0 vision, and we see globalization technology, media and sport all converging to provide a beautiful experience to fans all over the world.
I love math and I love data, and to me, how to make the experience even better, is a math problem; and how to beat Irina's Nets is yet another math problem.

Q.  Brooklyn Nets has moved from New Jersey to Brooklyn, so what has changed in Brooklyn since the headquarters moved?
IRINA PAVLOVA:  Great question.  First of all, you have to come out and visit to see it for yourself.
I think being in Brooklyn gave us a fresh start to really relaunch the team and relaunch the brand.  We got a new base of fans.  We got new sponsors and there's a new energy to being in Brooklyn.  And most importantly, our players are really excited to be in Brooklyn.
THE MODERATOR:  That will wrap up the Q&A session, and thank you so much to our media friends to participate in this part of our press conference and thanks to our three distinguished guests on stage.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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