The Golden State Warriors and Washington Wizards meet in Japan, continuing the NBA’s international push.

This weekend, a preseason game in Japan between the Golden State Warriors and the Washington Wizards marks the NBA’s first overseas return since the Coronavirus outbreak began in March 2020. A country that has embraced the sport even more in recent years, Japan will host its 15th and 16th NBA games.

There is a strong fan following for both games at Saitama Super Arena north of Tokyo, especially for the Warriors’ reigning champions and Wizards’ forward Rui Hachimura, the first Japanese-born NBA draft pick in 2019. As ranked by merchandise sales, Golden State was the country’s most popular team in 2021-22, with Warriors guard Stephen Curry having the most popular jersey on the NBA Store’s Japanese website.