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)”

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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”

Fredette and Ding Collect MVP Awards After Breakout CBA Seasons

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Jimmer Fredette and Ding Yanyunhang are the 2017 CBA Regular Season MVPs after two memorable seasons in which both men dragged their teams into the postseason. Ding beat out speedy Liaoning guard Guo Ailun and Guangsha’s Hu Jinqiu whilst Fredette got double the votes of his nearest rival for foreign MVP, Sichuan’s Hamed Haddadi. Continue reading “Fredette and Ding Collect MVP Awards After Breakout CBA Seasons”

As CBA President, The Ball Is Now In Yao’s Hands

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The appointment of Yao Ming to the head of the Chinese Basketball Association has been a long time coming. Since he retired from basketball in 2011, the former Houston Rocket returned to his home city of Shanghai and immediately started cleaning house. His first big decision was saving his former team, the Shanghai Sharks, from bankruptcy. Soon after, he brought in longtime NBA assistant Daniel Panaggio to coach the triangle offense as a way of opening up the offense to Chinese players and giving them more shots.

It was remarkably effective (the Sharks made the play-offs for only the second time in a decade) but since then, Yao’s attention has turned to bigger things; namely exerting influence on the CBA itself. A five year journey has now been completed. The announcement yesterday that Yao will be the president of the CBA is a further example of the player-turned-owner’s desire to change the league in a specific direction.  Continue reading “As CBA President, The Ball Is Now In Yao’s Hands”

Jiangsu Tongxi Officials Storm Court, Berate Referees In Ugly Defeat To Local Rivals

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Its been a while since I’ve been able to write, mostly due to holidays and work commitments but in the meantime, the CBA has been bonkers. It should be stressed that there are many good things going on right now (there is no obvious favorite for the title! Young Chinese stars like Ding Yangyuhan and Wang Zhelin continue to play well!) but at the same time, when I finally found the time to start blogging, the most obvious news story was what happened last night in Jiangsu Province.

So let’s recap. The Jiangsu Tongxi Monkey Kings have been, to put it bluntly, a joke for most of their short CBA existence. Based in the city of Changzhou, the team with no squad depth has struggled to even sniff a mid-table spot and are whipping boys for most of the CBA’s big sides. For the most part, Tongxi seem content to live with this as they slowly build up their organization. But one thing that does mean a lot is their local rivalry with the Jiangsu Dragons, who are based in the far more pleasant city of Nanjing. It is on that note that we take a look at the most recent clash between the two neighbours. Continue reading “Jiangsu Tongxi Officials Storm Court, Berate Referees In Ugly Defeat To Local Rivals”

Shark Fin Hoops Interview: Eli Holman

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In the midst of a busy season with play-off bound Guangsha, Eli Holman made time for Shark Fin Hoops to discuss the CBA on and off-the-court. In a wide ranging talk, the third-year import breaks down life in the Lions, Stephon Marbury and the everyday lifestyle of being a foreign player in China.

Andrew Crawford: By Chinese standards, Hangzhou is a pretty small city. As an overseas player, what is life like there compared to living in larger cities (Beijing, Shanghai) where there will be more foreigners and Western foods?

Eli Holman: Personally, I enjoy Hangzhou. I think it’s beautiful and everyone I have encountered is nice. Hangzhou has a lot of places that have western restaurants that makes it very easy to get a little feel of back home stateside; Slim’s Steakhouse, Hard Rock Cafe, and Outback, lots of other stuff. So its good.

Continue reading “Shark Fin Hoops Interview: Eli Holman”