Allen Iverson retired years ago but in China, his popularity and reverence remains almost at the same level as Michael Jordan and Yao Ming. The promise of an Iverson appearance in the country brings hundreds of people to the airport and thousands to arenas. He is a license to print money and everyone from the man himself to the plethora of agents and concert promoters in China know this. The trouble is that when you dangle an Iverson appearance to a Chinese audience and then don’t come up with the goods, things can get very messy in a very short amount of time.
He may not be a known name in Chinese basketball but He Tianju may about to become a very unlikely NBA player. News broke on Monday that the streaky Liaoning forward has been offered a try-out with the New Orleans Hornets and Chinese media duly reacted with barely constrained amazement. Continue reading
On the surface, the CBA offseason is six months of dead time. The national team gathers together the county’s best players together for several days (and sometimes even several weeks) of training sessions at various locations inside and outside China. For two months, the National Basketball League (NBL), the sport’s second tier in China, also gets played, albeit to little or no fanfare. Given that this is one of the few periods of free time for CBA players, right now is also the best time of year to be getting married so very tall dudes are either walking down the aisle right this second or watching one of their teammates do the same thing. But it doesn’t mean that there isn’t any meaningful basketball related activity going on. There’s plenty of it– but at this time of year, it’s all being held behind closed doors and far away from the court (and prying eyes). Continue reading
With speculation mounting about his free agency status, Yi Jianlian was forced to release a statement last Monday. In it, the captain of the Chinese national team confirmed that he had not re-signed with the Guangdong Tigers despite his looming free agency but that talks were set to begin soon.
But the announcement, designed to put Tigers fans at ease, underlines a growing concern that Yi might not actually agree to a deal. The ramifications were this to happen would be huge and if Yi did indeed go elsewhere, it essentially spells the end for one of Chinese basketball’s most successful rosters. Continue reading
Far away from the world’s eyes, the Xinjiang Tigers have existed in Chinese sport as a monolith for how one should absolutely not run a professional team. Fickle, slick and shameless; if there is talent for sale, the Tigers are picking up the phone and asking how much. Now Andray Blatche has even chosen Xinjiang over the NBA. Those numbers again, folks; three years, $7.5 million and the chance to be the most prominent athlete for a thousand mile in any direction.
Shark Fin Hoops: Beijing (4) – Liaoning (2).
One World Sport’s CBA Play by Play Announcer Scott Greene: Liaoning (4) – Beijing (2).
One World Sport’s CBA Play by Play Announcer Keith Irizary: Beijing (4) – Liaoning (3).
Basketball Buddha’s Nick Bedard: Liaoning (4) – Beijing (2).
Shot Suey’s Marco Catanzaro:Beijing (4) – Liaoning (1).
Liaoning Leopards vs. Beijing Ducks
Is Liaoning, the team that always flatters to deceive, about to finally fulfill its destiny and win a CBA title? This will be the fifth time the Leopards have made the championship series but not since the mid 1990’s (when the team made three consecutive Finals) have Liaoning looked this good. They have a proven scorer and ball handler in Lester Hudson, a very useful big man that gets it down down low and shooters that space the floor and knock down their shots at a high clip. Continue reading