The Chinese Consulate General in New York held a Mid-Autumn Festival reception for the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday, which was also a send-off party for the NBA team's upcoming tour to China.
Led by Brooklyn Nets' General manager Sean Marks, star players Spencer Dinwiddie, Garrett Temple, Nix Claxon, and Theo Pinson, along with several administrative staff, were hosted by Huang Ping, the Chinese Consul General in New York, in the consulate building by the Hudson River.
In a brief welcome speech, Huang explained to his American guests the Chinese tradition of celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival by looking at the full moon and eating mooncakes before a full plate of mooncakes were served to the Brooklyn Nets players.
Dinwiddie, the point guard of Nets, obviously loved it after the first bite, and even learnt how to say "Moon cakes are so delicious" in Chinese from the consul general.
Huang also wished the team good luck in their upcoming NBA preseason games against the Los Angeles Lakers that will be staged in China's Shanghai and Shenzhen respectively in October, saying that the tickets of the games were sold out in one minute.
"I think sports is a very, very important bridge to connect the people across the Pacific," said the veteran diplomat.
"Although there are some problems in the political field between China and the United States, I'm not worried about that. When I see you guys are going there, I know people's exchange would continue and people would have the final say of diplomacy," Huang said.
Echoing the consul general's remarks, Dinwiddie promised that the Nets contingent will "do nothing but great things" for the U.S.-China ties.
"Sports is universal so I think it's one of those things that connect people. It's something regardless of borders or regardless of our nationalities. It's something that brings us together," he said.
The 26-year-old, who has been to China only for endorsement and a charity game, said he was excited about the "full-blown NBA game" and expected to "get a real, full experience of the fan base."
"It's gonna have a lot of energy," he said.
Joseph Tsai, co-founder of China's e-commerce giant Alibaba and the owner of the Brooklyn Nets, sent his greetings through a video, appreciating the hospitality of the consulate general.
"I hope Chinese basketball fans could enjoy the highest level of American basketball through the games, and I also hope the Nets could have an amazing journey in China and promote the cultural exchanges between our two countries," he said.