China’s Best Kept Secrets? Profiling Shanghai’s Wu Guanxi and Shanxi’s Ge Zhaobao At Summer League

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Just when you thought you had seen it all, we have another Chinese guy making an NBA appearance, although only for some Summer League action. While last year He Tianju, while largely unproven by any NBA standard, was surely a top tier player by CBA standards, this year’s new additions are far more of a mystery, sometimes even by CBA standards.

Let’s find out who these two guys are then, shall we? Continue reading “China’s Best Kept Secrets? Profiling Shanghai’s Wu Guanxi and Shanxi’s Ge Zhaobao At Summer League”

Breaking Down Zhou Qi’s Potential Fit With The  Rockets and NBA

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Making his debut for Shark Fin Hoops, Rolling Wave (aka Richard Chen) breaks down the potential of Zhou Qi in an NBA environment. The young shot blocker made national headlines in China after getting drafted by “Yao’s team”– now it’s time to see what the Rockets have on their hands.
Continue reading “Breaking Down Zhou Qi’s Potential Fit With The  Rockets and NBA”

Belatedly, China Is Back In The NBA– But What Happens Now?

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Not since 2007 have Chinese players heard their names called in the NBA draft. History tends to forget that two mainlanders were drafted that year (Yi Jianlian to the Bucks and Sun Yue was also selected by the Lakers in the middle of the second round). Either way, by 2011, both players were out of the NBA and since then, there has been an awkward absence of Chinese players in the world’s biggest league. That was, until last Thursday, when Wang Zhelin and Zhou Qi both were selected.

Continue reading “Belatedly, China Is Back In The NBA– But What Happens Now?”

The Forgotten Man Of Chinese Hoops: Why Wang Zhelin’s Wasted Potential Can Still Be Redeemed

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Along with the emergence of Zhou Qi, a familiar habit has occurred within Chinese basketball; namely the complete shifting of media focus from one NBA hopeful to another. Four years ago, Fujian’s Wang Zhelin was the dashing young star destined to go to America but after a disappointing season in 2016 and still no play-off appearance on his four year old resume, the beefy power forward feels like yesterday’s news.  That said, NBA teams should not discount the draft eligible big man and Marco Catanzaro is here to explain why. Continue reading “The Forgotten Man Of Chinese Hoops: Why Wang Zhelin’s Wasted Potential Can Still Be Redeemed”

Wait, Exactly How Old Is Zhou Qi?

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After months of speculation, Zhou Qi, China’s most hyped young player since Yi Jianlian, is going to make a run at the upcoming NBA draft.

This should not be much of a surprise for those who have followed the nineteen year old’s short career. After exploding onto the scene with a 28 point, 27 rebound, 15 block triple double during a U-16 international tournament in 2011, Zhou eventually turned pro with the Xinjiang Tigers in 2014 and led the CBA in rejections as a rookie. Having repeated the feat in his sophomore year, it seemed natural to test the NBA waters given that his stock is red-hot and the 2016 Draft appears weaker than 2017. The groundswell of support for Zhou is such that even Xinjiang, the team who own his contract rights, have reluctantly agreed to let him put his name on the board.

But what is muting the excitement is a familiar theme to Chinese basketball fans– namely that there could be an major issue with Zhou’s age.  Continue reading “Wait, Exactly How Old Is Zhou Qi?”

The CBA Finals In One Image

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In what has been a crazy Finals that saw players fight in the streets with fans, the potential suspension of the championship series itself and journalists sob at press conferences, an underdog Sichuan Blue Whale roster surprised many basketball observers by overcoming a stronger, deeper and more experienced Liaoning team.

The key was Hamed Haddadi, who averaged 21.6 points and 19.2 rebounds on his way to the Finals MVP crown. Back in November, I predicted he could be a huge factor in winning a title so I’m feeling pretty smug right now, but it will be the center himself that will have the biggest grin of all.

So in a special moment for Chinese basketball, Haddadi– who is not the most popular guy in the league because of his chippy style of play– got a send-off that is rarely seen outside of a Hollywood screenplay. Because of rules about foreign players, the beloved center has now probably played his last game for Sichuan but still gets to walk off into the sunset as a CBA champion.

Yet before he walked down the player’s tunnel for the final time, a visibly emotional Haddadi suddenly walked up into the packed stands of Sichuan’s arena and gave an impromptu victory speech over the PA system. Its a great photo and one that hopefully can define this Finals after all the anarchy that has preceded it.

CBA Finals Game 5: Sichuan Blue Whale, 94 – Liaoning Leopards, 91

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Sichuan are CBA Champions for the first time in their history– and only three years since they were promoted up into the top tier of Chinese basketball from the part-time National Basketball League. Meanwhile, Hamed Haddadi secured Finals MVP after averaging 21.6 and 19.2 rebounds during the series. Continue reading “CBA Finals Game 5: Sichuan Blue Whale, 94 – Liaoning Leopards, 91”