No Kobe, But Beijing Crowd Still Enthusiastic For Lakers-Warriors Exhibition

“His shooting is perfect,” said a fan at the MasterCard Arena (Wukesong) in Beijing on Tuesday before the Golden State Warriors tipped off against the Los Angeles Lakers. He was talking, of course, about Steph Curry.

Kobe Bryant is arguably the most popular basketball player in this country, playing for Chinese fans’ favorite team, but as a sign of the NBA’s global reach, there were plenty of Golden State supporters inside Wukesong. And why not? The Warriors were the darlings of last season’s playoffs, and Steph — health pending — is on the brink of superstardom. There’s not a better bandwagon to jump on.

Kobe, still recovering from an Achilles surgery, watched Tuesday’s game in a suit (he’ll do the same when these two teams play in Shanghai tomorrow). Curry, on the other hand, didn’t disappoint, dropping 24 points and adding seven assists — many of them nifty — and three steals.

The Warriors’ David Lee led all scorers with 31 points as Golden State won 100-95. Afterwards, players and coaches on both sides praised Beijing’s crowd (you can watch in the above video). No frisbees were thrown this time.

Bonus videos… Steph being Steph:

Lakers and Warriors arrive in China:

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