Warriors' preseason schedule highlighted by Japan tour, Gary Payton II reunion

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Warriors' preseason highlighted by Japan tour, GP2 reunion originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The Warriors' 2022 preseason schedule begins Friday, Sept. 30, but fans will have to be early risers to follow along. Why?

Well, Golden State's slate starts off with two games in Japan against the Washington Wizards as part of the NBA Japan Games 2022. The Warriors' first contest will start at 3 a.m. PT. Following that first game, Dub Nation will have to stay up late on Saturday night after dusting off the cobwebs Friday morning as their second game starts at 10 p.m. PT.

Both games will be played at Saitama Super Arena, which holds 36,500 fans. This will mark the first time the Warriors have played in Japan, and the same goes for the Wizards.

After their trip to Japan, the Warriors' final three games of their five-game preseason schedule will be at Chase Center in San Francisco. There, they'll face the Los Angeles Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers, and Denver Nuggets -- in that order.

Anytime the Warriors play LeBron James and the Lakers or Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets, it's appointment viewing. That's even true for exhibition games.

But neither is the opposing player Warriors fans will want to see most this upcoming preseason. That would be Gary Payton II.

Payton became a massive fan favorite last season and played a critical role in the Warriors winning another championship. In free agency, though, the Blazers presented Payton an offer he couldn't refuse, signing a three-year, $28 million contract.

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Oakland native and former Warriors fan-favorite Juan Toscano-Anderson also could be suiting up against his former team when Golden State takes on the Lakers. Whether Payton and Toscano-Anderson play in the preseason games or not, Warriors fans will give them a warm welcome back to the Bay Area.

Below is the Warriors' complete 2022 preseason schedule. Training camp begins on Saturday, Sept. 24.

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