home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


October 11, 2015

Steve Ballmer

Michael Jordan

Adam Silver

THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon and welcome to NBA Global Games Shenzhen press conference. My name is Edcon and I will be your host today. It is a great honor for me to introduce our three special guests who are here today to talk about bringing the authentic NBA experience to fans in China through NBA Global Games. Joining us here today are NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver; Chairman of the Charlotte Hornets Michael Jordan; and L.A. Clippers Owner Steve Ballmer.
Please welcome Commissioner Adam Silver.
COMMISSIONER SILVER: Thank you very much. We are thrilled to be here in Shenzhen. This, of course, is our very first game here in Shenzhen, although we have played many games in China. We found over the last few days that some of the most passionate fans in all of China are here in the Guangdong province and in Shenzhen, and the hospitality has been fantastic.
I want to thank the municipal government of Shenzhen for partnering with us on this game. We believe it will be the first of many. I also particularly want to thank two sponsors, Master Kong and Dongfeng Nissan, for your support in this game.
Also, without the two owners on my left and right, we wouldn't be here today. I want to thank Steve Ballmer and the Los Angeles Clippers for making the trip. Their cooperation has been tremendous. And the fact that Steve Ballmer is here himself speaks volumes about the NBA's interest here in China.
Also, of course, on my left, for the first time, I believe, in about a decade, has returned to China, is Michael Jordan. Michael has brought his Charlotte Hornets. Again, every member of his organization is here.
I want to thank Fred Whitfield and Curtis Polk for all their cooperation in making this game happen.
And without further ado, I'm going to hand it off to Michael Jordan.
MICHAEL JORDAN: Thanks, Adam. It gives me great privilege to say that on behalf of the Hornets, we are very proud and very privileged to play in this game.
It's been a while, as Adam said, since I've been here last and it’s always enthusiastic to come here and see the fans and how they support the NBA. I think this is a great example of how the NBA has expanded globally, and I think with games like this, we will continue to expand from a basketball sense.
And I want to wish Steve and his team a lot of luck this year. Hopefully we can stay healthy and compete against each other. So I'm looking forward to an unbelievable season and excitement of basketball in the NBA. So thanks for supporting.
STEVE BALLMER: (Greeting in Chinese) “Wo Ai Lan Qiu. I hope that was close to, “I love basketball.”
It is a real pleasure and honor to have a chance to be here today. I have been in Shenzhen a number of times, in my old world. It's more fun to be here, even than seeing electronics factories and talking to Tencent and Hua Wei. It's all about basketball today.
China is the No.1 country in the world in terms of basketball passion, and I'm glad the NBA has really built these great bridges here in China. It's also a privilege to have the chance to play the Hornets here in town. We play twice in the regular season, but we get to see each other twice in the week here in China. It will be a lot of fun to spend some time and have our guys really put on a competitive demonstration of basketball.
Thanks, Michael, for also being here with his team. I thank Adam and all of the people at the NBA, particularly our partners here in China who have helped put on this event. It's a real honor and privilege. Thank you.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Mr.Ballmer, Mr.Jordan and also Mr.Silver. Now we will open the floor for media questions.

Q. For Mr.Adam Silver, why did you choose Shenzhen as a host city of NBA Global Games this year?
COMMISSIONER SILVER: We selected Shenzhen because some of the most passionate basketball fans in all of China are here in Shenzhen. And in this province generally, we know we have incredibly passionate fans.
No.2, we have several business partners down in Shenzhen, as well. As Mr.Ballmer just mentioned, this is the headquarters of Tencent. We have a very strong relationship with [Tencent].
And No. 3, also, as Mr.Ballmer noted from his past life, some of the most innovative technology companies are based here in Southern China, and we are also an innovator and a technology company. So there's much in common with us and the companies that are based here in this region.

Q. Michael, welcome back to China after 11 years. When you played your prime time in the 1990s, did you ever imagine one day the game would grow so big globally, especially here in China?
MICHAEL JORDAN: The progression of basketball is unbelievable. I think David Stern initially and Adam now, and I think in terms of how the game has grown internationally, the Dream Team, have expanded the game.
As we have seen lately, China has become one of the fastest‑growing [places for] basketball fans in the world. I would have never thought in 1990 it would have grown this fast or this big, but we are very fortunate that the game has spread that much and it's loved by many here. I think it’s only going to continue to grow. I think the players enjoy coming over here and relating with the fans here in China. It was fun even when I played. It's gotten a lot bigger now, and I think it's good for the game.

Q. For Mr.Steve Ballmer, what was it about the NBA that attracted you to be an owner?
STEVE BALLMER: There's no‑‑ in my opinion, there's no greater game to watch, or if you have the skill to play, than basketball. It's got speed. It's got grace. Everybody has to think and everybody has to make decisions. It's competitive.
It may come as a big surprise, I was never a very good basketball player. But I was a statistician for my college team. I just loved the game, loved watching Michael play. I'm from Detroit so I have a little mixed record watching Michael play. (Laughter)
MICHAEL JORDAN: Sorry, sorry. (Laughter)
 STEVE BALLMER: But the opportunity, I talked to Adam for the better part of a year, the opportunity to own a basketball team was just [clenches fists and raises them] Ah, very exciting.
COMMISSIONER SILVER: I think that needs no translation. (Laughter)

Q. Michael, obviously the team has an awful lot on its plate right now between All-Star Weekend and the arena renovations and the new D-League team. Why do you think it was important enough to be here to devote the amount of energy that the team has put into being part of this right now?
MICHAEL JORDAN: I think from a Charlotte standpoint, it's great for the players to get that type of exposure and that type of respect throughout the league.
We’re still up-and-coming. We want to be one of the elite teams. We want to be the Clippers. We want to be some of these teams that compete each and every night on TV and in the playoffs. So the experience was something that I want the players to understand and accept.
Granted, it's a lot of activities about to happen in Charlotte, and I think the players are very happy about it. We as an organization are very proud about it. The league has done a good job in supporting us, and we utilize their input as much as possible.
I think it's just the growth. We want to continue to grow in our city, and having a solid basketball team means a lot. But at the same time, getting that exposure so the fan base can reach outside of Charlotte and North Carolina. So I think it's important for us to extend these type of opportunities to our team so that they can get that type of experience.

Q. What is the NBA business strategy in China?
COMMISSIONER SILVER: Well, the NBA’s business strategy here is one, to continue playing games so we can give the opportunity for our Chinese fans here to experience NBA players up close and in the flesh and blood. But then most importantly, to continue distributing our games through all forms of media. We have a longstanding relationship with CCTV and in addition, we are going to distribute 600 live games this year with our partner, Tencent.

Q. What is the definition of progress of success for the hornets this season?
MICHAEL JORDAN: Staying healthy is one. If we can stay healthy, I think we’ll be a much better basketball team than last year. Ultimately, I think like any other team, making the playoffs and seeing how far you can go into the playoffs to me is a mark of success. Our business team works hard in terms of promoting the game in Charlotte and to our fan base. It's up to us from a basketball sense to try to turn that into wins and get into the playoffs. So I think that’s our biggest goal right now.

Q. What do you think your team needs to improve on from last season?
STEVE BALLMER: Well, I would probably say there were three things at the end of last year that we really needed to work on. We needed to have better depth in our basketball team, which I think we've addressed in the offseason, No.1.
No.2, we've got to keep‑‑ be able to continue to keep th e intensity all year long. It's a very long year into the playoffs. And No. 3, we have to always be improving the level of teamwork. We have a very, very, very talented basketball team, but it will take all of those, and as Michael said, a lot of good luck with injuries and everything else, to take the next step.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297