Basketball: Brooklyn Nets celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year amid pandemic

Various Chinese cultural elements were incorporated in the NBA game between Brooklyn Nets and visiting Indiana Pacers. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (XINHUA) - The Brooklyn Nets stuck to their 10-year tradition to celebrate Chinese Lunar New Years on Wednesday (Feb 10) evening despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Various Chinese cultural elements were incorporated in the National Basketball Association (NBA) game between Brooklyn Nets and visiting Indiana Pacers, said the team.

"Sports play an important role in promoting cultural exchanges and unity among people in the world. The NBA has a huge fan base in China. I wish greater success for the Brooklyn Nets in the Year of the Ox and (hope it would) bring more joy and friendship to the peoples across the Pacific Ocean," said Chinese Consul-General in New York Huang Ping in a video address before the game tipped off.

Kyrie Irving from Brooklyn Nets made a live pre-game address, wishing the fans a happy New Year.

Takala Land Dance Studio, a local Chinese kids' hip-hop dance group, performed during the game.

Nets stars like Kevin Durant and James Harden, as well as 20-plus Chinese celebrities also expressed their best wishes on social media.

As part of the Lunar New Year celebration, Chris Chiozza, a player with Brooklyn Nets, hosted a virtual event with more than 100 children from the New York Rockits, a youth basketball programme located in Chinatown, where he spoke with the children about the importance of the holiday and how playing basketball has impacted his life.

Moreover, Hou Minghao, an actor and singer from China, was named as the ambassador of the Lunar New Year Game.

He released his brand-new music video You Mean Everything to Me on the theme of Brooklyn Nets.

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"We especially value the tremendous support from our Chinese fans. We really appreciate your support," said John Abbamondi, CEO of Brooklyn Nets' parent company BSE Global.

The NBA and its teams began celebrating Lunar New Year in 2012 and since then, all 30 teams have celebrated the annual spring festival holiday with in-game elements, live performances, traditional food and partner activations.

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