Shark Fin Hoops Interview: Keith Closs

Closs

Former Los Angeles Clipper big man Keith Closs played for the Yunnan Bulls during the 2008/09 CBA season, averaging 16.9ppg (whilst shooting nearly 60% from the floor) and 11.9 rpg. He would also lead the league in blocks with 5.9 per game. Now living in California, he talked to Shark Fin Hoops about his season in south-west China and playing for what was at the time one of the worst teams in the country. 

Continue reading

Chris Daniels, Unpaid Wages And The Latest Black Day For The CBA

U4996P6T12D7298025F44DT20140819114200

Over in Yingkou, Liaoning Province, things are about to get very messy for the city’s beloved basketball team. FIBA, world basketball’s governing body, have finally had enough of the Chinese team’s intransigence regarding the non-payment of a former players’ wages. Not only have the Liaoning Jaguars refused to pay the player, former Texas A&M big man Chris Daniels, they also effectively gave the middle finger to FIBA by refusing to acknowledge its ruling that the Chinese team had to pay up. To say this is going to be a costly mistake would be an understatement; FIBA is riled up and ready for war whilst the CBA itself can only look on with it’s head in it’s hands.

Continue reading

Wang Xingquan, The Magnificent Bastard Of Chinese Basketball Rides Again

U4996P6T12D7291843F44DT20140814163711

Few owners in the CBA have given league administrators as many sleepless nights as Wang Xingquan. The personification of the Chinese ‘da laoban’ (‘big boss’), it seemed at times that Wang was actively looking for ways to piss people off. If the league could have put a hit out on him, they probably would have done.

Things though have been quiet for the last year. Having sold the ownership of his old team, the Shanxi Dragons, to a group of Chinese investors, Wang seemed destined to fade into obscurity and perhaps become a humorous aside from the old days of the CBA. However, those hopes appear to have been dashed if Sina Sport is to be believed; ‘The Chinese Cuban is Back!’, it thundered. To the presumed horror of league officials, Boss Wang has indeed resurfaced in his home province of Henan, busily establishing a team to compete in next year’s National Basketball League, essentially the second tier of Chinese basketball.

Continue reading

Xinjiang’s Free Agency Rampage

images (1)

Among the things that most confuse long-established American players in the Chinese Basketball Association is the reluctance of local players to take advantage of their free agency. In the CBA, contracts have expiration dates like you would see in the NBA but its still extremely rare to see a high profile player move teams. Lesser known Chinese players will of course switch teams but that is more because their current employer has no interest on offering them a new deal.  Continue reading

Wang Zhizhi, Bayi And Why Goodbye Is The Hardest Word To Say

xin_4407031823038713008931 (1)

Wang Zhizhi has always had it somewhat hard. Of the three Chinese big men that defined the early 2000s; himself, Yao Ming and Mengke Bateer, it has been Wang that has had to endure the most nonsense (and that’s putting it politely) during his career.

Quickly marked out as a talent for the future, Wang made his professional debut as an eighteen year old for the Bayi Rockets, one of the most successful teams in the history of Chinese basketball. The young big man would averaging 21 points a game from 1995 to 2000, a five year period in which Bayi won successive CBA finals without losing a game. The overseas interest in Wang was there but the Rockets seemed to have him nailed down; no-one in China saw him going anywhere. Continue reading

Al Harrington Headed To Fujian- Unfortunately For Him

wiz-roster-harrington

Fujian Sturgeons, meet your thirty-four year stretch-forward. Fujian fans, say hello to another year of mediocrity. Very rarely does a signing of an overseas player omit such a feeling of ‘meh’ but this acquisition truly screams a front office with nothing more than the ambition to lose a lot of games.

So yes, poor Al Harrington is basically headed off to one of the laziest franchises in the CBA. He’ll spend a lot of time playing power forward, stretching the floor and giving young superstar Wang Zhelin the space to get busy in the paint. He’ll get 18/8/4 without too much hassle and maybe land a minimum deal to run with an NBA team once his deal runs out in 2015. Er, and that’s it, basically. Continue reading

Metta World Peace Nears Signing With Sichuan

U7567P6T12D7271818F44DT20140730064835

Metta World Peace might soon be coming to China if reports in America and China are to be believed. According to Sina Sports, Sichuan Blue Whales’ GM Jie Geng flew to Los Angeles earlier this week to discuss terms on a deal with World Peace, who had also been receiving offers from China, courtesy of the Xinjiang Tigers, and teams from Turkey. Jie confirmed to Sina that the team had originally been looking to pick up a center but the American would be an ideal alternative and would allow them to start one of their young big men alongside World Peace. Continue reading