OAKLAND — The Golden State Warriors hopped a flight to China on Friday to begin a week that will cover 15 times zones and more than 12,000 miles.
"A lot of coffee, caffeine and sleeping pills," center Andrew Bogut said.
The trip, part of the NBA's Global Games, will feature two games against the Los Angeles Lakers. It's also a break from the monotony of training camp, a chance to build camaraderie and, of course, a step in promoting the league's brand.
The Warriors land in Beijing on Saturday evening. After practicing Sunday, they'll visit the Great Wall and a school. There's a reception and team dinner Monday followed by the first game with the Lakers the next day.
The Warriors fly to Shanghai immediately after the game. They'll meet with fans Thursday and put on a clinic. They'll play the Lakers again Friday before returning home Saturday.
"Any time you can experience that and see how someone else does things, how they live, it's a learning tool," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. "It's a great experience for us. I value it. And I think it's going to be important individually and collectively as a team, especially for these younger guys."
Jackson said he's honored the Warriors were chosen by the NBA as one of a dozen teams to play internationally this year and will make no excuses about the rigorous travel schedule. The former point guard never imagined he'd have such an opportunity growing up, so he isn't about to take the trip for granted.
"I can remember my dad saying when I was a kid he'd be fine staying in Brooklyn his whole life," Jackson said. "And then when we moved to Queens and we moved to Long Island he said, 'I can't believe I really believed that.' He got an opportunity to see and experience things before he passed that impacted his life and prepared him for the future."