Its been rumored for a while but has now finally happened. Stephon Marbury is staying in Beijing but will no longer be with the Beijing Ducks. Instead, the veteran free agent will be moving across town and suiting up for the underperforming Beijing Dragons.
Right off the bat, one has to acknowledge what a magnificent ‘fuck you’ this is to a Ducks front office who refused to pick up his team option. Its also an opportunity for Marbury to further ingratiate himself with the Chinese capital, something he has gone out of this way to do since arriving back in 2011. Continue reading “Stephon Marbury’s Crosstown Move Signals Beijing Basketball Schism”
For about an hour last week, Chinese social media exploded when footage began to circulate that appeared to show Yao Ming being arrested by state police. Captioning both the images and video were allegations that the iconic basketball player had been popped for drug possession. To make things worse, it took place at a basketball tournament near the Yangzte River Delta and in full view of the public.
On first look, things looked pretty bad but it took minutes for Chinese media to debunk the footage circulating the internet. Yao had not been cuffed by the police but rather had his hands behind his back as he shuffled behind a police escort that he needs for most public appearances. The Shanghai Sharks, the CBA team Yao owns, also released a statement and strongly dismissed the images as doctored
But by then, the damage had been done and a section of the vast Chinese social media populace was discussing the arrest of the sporting icon. Continue reading “Hoax ‘Drug Arrest’ of Yao Ming Sparks Outrage Across China”
As Dallas fans have realized, Mark Cuban won’t stay put when it comes to expanding the NBA market. An NBA team in Mexico City? Great. The first Indian-born player to get drafted? Cop that. Remember when Adam Silver complained about the lack of Chinese players in NBA contention, even though two players had been drafted that year (Zhou Qi and Wang Zhelin) whilst Yi Jianlian signed with the Lakers (and was cut upon his own request, so he could rejoin his local team). Well, Cuban took care of that situation too by bringing in Shandong’s Ding Yanyuhang for the current NBA summer league. Continue reading “China’s NBA Hopefuls Vol. 2: Ding Yanyuhang, The CBA MVP.”
Zhu Fangyu, the all-time leading scorer in CBA history, two-time league MVP, four-time Finals MVP and an eight-time league champion officially retired on Saturday. With the announcement, the Guangdong Tigers forward ends a remarkable playing career that saw massive highs but also major lows. Continue reading “The Storm Has Passed; ‘The Rain Of Threes’, Zhu Fangyu, Calls Time On A Storied Playing Career”
Recently Yahoo Sports reported NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s frustration over the lack of Chinese players in the Association despite the incredible amount of followers, aficionados and athletes pursuing an interest in the sport. China is already a pivotal part of the basketball landscape and Yao Ming’s perennial presence atop the All-Star votes in his NBA years goes to show how appealing that market is for the North American league. Understandably Silver wants in on that opportunity. Continue reading “China’s NBA Hopefuls Vol. 1: Guo Ailun, the Chinese Tony Parker.”
Call it an overhaul, call it a gentle purge but whatever is going on in Beijing is pretty significant. Yesterday, the Beijing Ducks announced that Yannis Christopoulos, a long-term assistant coach with the Chinese national was taking over as Ducks head coach.
Min Lulei, Christopoulos’ predecessor and one of the CBA’s most decorated coaches, will now take up a role within the Ducks front office. For watchers of Chinese basketball, these are remarkable times.
Continue reading “Min Lulei Steps Aside As The Beijing Reboot Continues”
Another team, another protracted problem with saying goodbye to an iconic player. A couple of years ago, Wang Zhizhi, perhaps the best player to have ever worn the red Bayi Rockets uniform, was obliged to unretire by the Chinese military to stop the team’s losing streak. This season, Yi Jianlian left the Guangdong Tigers for the NBA, only to return, ignite a needless powerplay and then see his team get destroyed in the CBA Finals as a result.
Now, it is Beijing’s turn to ignore the hints of Father Time. The Ducks have won three CBA titles under the leadership of Stephon Marbury, who himself is probably the most beloved athlete in the city. But Marbury will be 41 by the end of next season and the Ducks would really like to move on with their own rebuild whilst their roster of local players is still competitive. The American has other ideas and this is quickly becoming the story of the current CBA offseason. Continue reading “The Stephon Marbury Saga Looks Set For One Final Twist (Updated)”