Two Sharks players went to Guangzhou for the annual CBA All-Star weekend but only one of them finished Sunday night with his head held high. Zhai Yi, Shanghai’s third-string shooting guard emerged out of nowhere to win another dire dunk contest whilst Liu Wei was basically a no-show in the showpiece All-Star game itself.
Despite being voted in as a starter for the big game, Liu played no more than a couple of minutes- which was enough to sink a jumper and get himself on the scoreboard- but the Sharks captain was largely absent from proceedings, presumably due to his injury problems of late.
Indeed, the biggest impact that Liu had on Sunday evening was helping Zhai Yi win the dunk contest. The teenager, who has rarely featured for the Sharks this season, came third in the qualifying round the previous night behind Guangdong’s Gao Shang and Shanxi’s Sen Tiangui.
Zhai’s first dunk was a slightly embarrassing miscue whereupon he tried to dunk whilst sticking a Li-Ning shoe to the backboard. It didn’t work nor did Sen’s cringe-worthy attempt to throw down a jam as he leapt over a giant inflatable rice ball (this being Chinese New Year and all). Gao basically screwed up both of his attempts after a strong showing in qualifying.
In the end, the Sharks guard won the whole thing by dunking over an electric kart shaped like a Li-Ning sneaker (think the Blake Griffin dunk over a Toyota from a couple of years back). Liu, sitting down in the kart, threw up the pass and on his third attempt Zhai finished the job as another Chinese dunk contest was mercifully brought to an end.
Kudos to the Sharks’ guard for getting his name in the papers but can we scrap the event until we get some decent athletes? Also, China is obviously the king of counterfeit goods but surely its’ own All-Star weekend can have at least one original idea…
You can watch the entire dunk contest here. Be warned though, it isn’t pretty.