For the first time since 2004 and the second time in its history, the NBA will host preseason games in China: the NBA China Games. The Orlando Magic, Cleveland Cavaliers and Chinaís Menís National Team will take part in games beginning on October 17 and will feature two matchups between Orlando and Cleveland as well as an exhibition game between Orlando and Chinaís National Team.
While fans and players eagerly await tipoff, NBA athletes are learning about what China has to offer. NBA.comís Mo Wang sat down with Cleveland's Shannon Brown to get the inside scoop from Brown about the Cavaliers, his experiences in China and much more
NBA.com: Hi Shannon, welcome!
Shannon Brown: Thank you.
NBA.com: How was your trip to Shanghai?
Shannon Brown: Our flight was long. It was 17 hours but it was fun. I had time to talk and make jokes with my teammates, coaches, friends and family.
NBA.com: Is this your first time in China?
Shannon Brown: Yes.
NBA.com: How do you like the city (Shanghai) so far?
Shannon Brown: Itís great. I love it. A lot of people over here are great. Itís different as far as how people live.
NBA.com: Have you tried any Chinese food?
Shannon Brown: I think I have. I have tried the daily servings from downstairs, our breakfast, lunch and dinner. But I havenít been to any restaurants yet.
NBA.com: What are the differences between training camp this year and training camp in the past?
Shannon Brown: We got a chance to come here and work out. But as far as basketball, it is still the same. We are still trying to work hard, trying to get into shape, and trying to defend our Eastern Championship.
NBA.com: You did great during the Las Vegas Summer League. What have you been working on this summer?
Shannon Brown: I worked on every aspect of my game. I tried to be more efficient. I worked on shooting, handling the ball and becoming more knowledgeable about the game.
NBA.com: Compared to the Boston Celtics and some other Eastern teams, the Cavaliersí roster didnít change much coming into training camp.
Shannon Brown: We are still confident with what we have. We made it to the Eastern Conference Finals last year, so there are not too many more changes you can make.
NBA.com: The Cavaliers beat the Pistons in OT last week.
Shannon Brown: Yeah, we just went out and played hard. Every time we play with Pistons itís like a dog fight. We just played hard and executed the game plan.
NBA.com: Looks like you are getting more and more minutes.
Shannon Brown: Yeah, itís all about hard work and trust in my teammates and trust in my coach. I just play my game and play like I know how to play basketball. I go out and play the way I need to in order to help the team win.
NBA.com: What did Coach Brown tell you?
Shannon Brown: He just told me to go out and play, play basketball, play defense, and to be more efficient on offense. I am still learning, what I can do is just go out and play, play as hard as I can.
NBA.com: Which aspect of your game helps your team the most?
Shannon Brown: In every possible way as far as scoring, defense, bringing energy out there on the floor. I just go out there and play super hard.
NBA.com: People are talking about the Boston Celtics a lot recently, is that bothering you?
Shannon Brown: No, I donít think it should bother any team at all. They do have some big names, but they still have to work together. I donít think anybody in the NBA is going to back down. They still need to go out there and play games.
NBA.com: How hard will it be to make the NBA Finals again this season?
Shannon Brown: Itís going to be hard. The year before we made it to the Eastern Conference Finals and lost. This past year we won. Itís going to be even harder since we are a bigger target now. Itís going to be a long season. We just need to go out and play hard.
NBA.com: Any updates on Sasha (Pavlovic) and Anderson (Varejao)?
Shannon Brown: Not really. We really hope to have them back. We miss them. But I really donít know what is going on.
NBA.com: What are you looking for in the next seven or eight days in China?
Shannon Brown: I would like to go out and see more sights, see how the Chinese culture really is, how people live day to day. I want to get a different feel than what I am used to, get out of my environment and see what is going on around the world.
NBA.com: Whatís your personal goal for the next season?
Shannon Brown: My personal goal is to become a better basketball player, help my team, the Cavaliers, to win as many games as possible. Hopefully we will win the championship.
NBA.com: Have you ever thought about participating in the Slam Dunk contest?
Shannon Brown: Yes, I have thought about it. It would be a fun thing to do.
NBA.com: Who was your favorite player before you entered the NBA?
Shannon Brown: Michael Jordan. I grew up in Chicago and he played there for a long time. He really had a big affect on me.