High Stakes And Litmus Tests; Japan Loom Large As National Team Continues To Struggle

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Talking after his country’s 75-71 victory over a Lithuania ‘B’ team, Yi Jianlian was blunt about what his country should be doing on the international circuit; ‘we need return to a position of dominance in Asia’. But Yi’s words come at a time when China is no longer the unquestioned top dog in Asian basketball. Winless in the 2012 Olympics, China have since disappointed at both the 2013 FIBA Asian championships and the 2014 Asian Games in South Korea. Along the way, there have been embarrassing losses to the Philippines and the mainland’s ‘little brother’, Taiwan. The U-23 team also lost to India in a defeat one local newspaper called ‘the worst result in Chinese basketball history’. As China has struggled, Iran and a deceptively good South Korean team have emerged as the new teams to watch in the region. Continue reading “High Stakes And Litmus Tests; Japan Loom Large As National Team Continues To Struggle”

The CBA Draft And What It Could Mean For Chinese Basketball (EDIT)

China_basketball_association 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 “The CBA Draft And What It Could Mean For Chinese Basketball (EDIT)”

How Yi Jianlian’s Free Agency Could Change The CBA Landscape Overnight

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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 “How Yi Jianlian’s Free Agency Could Change The CBA Landscape Overnight”

Andray Blatche and The Xinjiang Tigers; A Culture Of Chaos At China’s Richest Basketball Team

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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.

Continue reading “Andray Blatche and The Xinjiang Tigers; A Culture Of Chaos At China’s Richest Basketball Team”

Shark Fin Hoops CBA Play-Off Preview: Finals

Liaoning Leopards vs. Beijing Ducks

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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 “Shark Fin Hoops CBA Play-Off Preview: Finals”

Your Handy CBA Play-Off Semi-Final Predictions Sheet

 

Shark Fin Hoops: Guangdong (3) –  Beijing (1); Liaoning (3) – Qingdao (1).

One World Sport’s CBA Play by Play Announcer Scott GreeneGuangdong (3) – Beijing (1); Liaoning (3) – Qingdao (1).

One World Sport’s CBA Play by Play Announcer Keith Irizary: Guangdong (3) – Beijing (2); Liaoning (3) – Qingdao (1).

Basketball Buddha’s Nick Bedard: Guangdong (3) –  Beijing (2);  Liaoning (3) – Qingdao (1)

Shot Suey’s Marco Catanzaro: Guangdong (1) – Beijing (3); Liaoning (3) – Qingdao (1);

 

Shark Fin Hoops CBA Play-Off Preview: Semi Finals

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Guangdong Tigers (1) vs Beijing Ducks (3)

Shit, as they say, is about to get very real. It only took three games for Beijing to walk straight through Jilin (and its also worth stressing that the starters were rested for the second half of the final game) whilst Guangdong needed four attempts to put a plucky but outmatched Dongguan to the sword. Ultimately though, things went as expected and the holders of the last combined eight CBA titles will now face off for the third time in the last four years. Continue reading “Shark Fin Hoops CBA Play-Off Preview: Semi Finals”