Will Manso: Bye-bye, Beijing

Published On: Oct 11 2012 12:08:10 PM EDT
Updated On: Oct 11 2012 01:04:51 PM EDT
BEIJING -

Our trip to Beijing is just about complete.  As I type, I'm sitting in the back of one of the Heat buses following Miami's win in game one of the 2012 China games.

The next stop is the airport for a late flight to Shanghai.  It's currently 11:40 PM here in Beijing.

It was a historic night for the team.  The Heat had never played a game in China, and they made sure not to disappoint the fans.  It was one of the more unique basketball atmospheres I've ever been a part of.

Before the game, there seemed to be a nervous energy from the Chinese fans who were so excited to have the defending World Champs play in their home.

We saw mostly Heat jerseys and t-shirts on the backs of those fans who packed the arena.  But, once the game got started, it actually was a quiet atmosphere for the first quarter.  It's almost like if the fans didn't know how to react.

Once that feeling settled down, you could see the arena let loose and just have fun.  Chants of "Let's go Heat" and even the wave broke out in the 2nd half.  

By the end of the game, fans were throwing styrofoam discs up in the air to celebrate the end of a successful trip to China's capital city by the Heat and Clippers.

LeBron even climbed onto the side of a row of seats to say goodbye to fans with high fives and a smile.  He threw his headband and wristband into the stands.  And with that, the Heat's trip to Beijing was over.

But this journey to China is far from over.  We're minutes away from the airport and our flight to Shanghai is scheduled to depart at 1:00 AM local time.

The China games continue and some new adventures are on the horizon.  So long Beijing.  You were a great host.

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