Stephon Marbury’s Crosstown Move Signals Beijing Basketball Schism

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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”

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Hoax ‘Drug Arrest’ of Yao Ming Sparks Outrage Across China

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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”

The Storm Has Passed; ‘The Rain Of Threes’, Zhu Fangyu, Calls Time On A Storied Playing Career

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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”

Min Lulei Steps Aside As The Beijing Reboot Continues

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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”

The Stephon Marbury Saga Looks Set For One Final Twist (Updated)

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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)”

The Xinjiang Tigers Are CBA Champions– And Now Everything in Chinese Basketball Could Change

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With a 4-0 sweep of the Guangdong Tigers, the Xinjiang Tigers (Chinese pro teams really love their big cats) are CBA champions for the first time in their history. The extremely wealthy team from Urumqi have been building towards this moment for over a decade but made it look easy in the fourth meeting in nine CBA Finals between the two sides.

On paper, the rise of Xinjiang is great for Chinese basketball, who now become only the fifth CBA team to have won the championship in in modern era of Middle Kingdom hoops. From the perspective of real politik, state-controlled media now also have a positive article to write about Xinjiang province, whose predominantly Muslim, Uyghur-speaking populace have been among the most defiant to Beijing and the CCP machine.  Continue reading “The Xinjiang Tigers Are CBA Champions– And Now Everything in Chinese Basketball Could Change”