Chinese New Year bash planned for NBA

The National Basketball Association announced plans on Monday to stage its biggest international tribute ever when it honors the Chinese New Year celebration next month.

The NBA will welcome the Year of the Snake with 23 live games shown and streamed on the internet in China from February 7-14. Five clubs will host Chinese-themed tributes in their arenas.

The league began the celebration last year but increased the profile and scope of the event this season.

"Chinese New Year is the most important festival for our fans in China, and we are happy to once again celebrate with them," said NBA China chief executive David Shoemaker.

NBA standout Peja Stojakovic, born in a Year of the Snake, will host a viewing party in Beijing for a game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics on February 8.

That same night, the in-arena NBA celebrations tip-off when the Washington Wizards, whose arena is based in the US capital city's Chinatown district, play host to the Brooklyn Nets.

Other teams hosting in-arena celebrations include the Toronto Raptors, Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls and Golden State Warriors.

All teams playing on February 8 will wear specially designed shirts for Chinese New Year.

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